Just being thereBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7282.342 (Published 10 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:342
- Andre Matalon, lecturer and family doctor.
- Petach Tikva, Israel
I joined the clinic three years ago and I was to collect my list from patients who were discontented at how inaccessible they found their former family doctors. One of these patients was Zohara (in Hebrew: the illuminated). She had passed from one doctor to another and now she was to try me. She was a Yemenite widow aged about 68 who often visited the clinic, although she didn't suffer from any chronic disorder other than abdominal pain. She had had countless consultations, visits to emergency departments, ultrasound examinations, endoscopies, and barium enemas, but the cause of the pain could not be found. Psychiatric consultations suggested masked depression but couldn't help her, or me, any further. All medications were ineffective.
After nearly three years of frustration, here she came again at the end of …