A memorable patient: How to lose credibility

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 31 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:h
  1. Harold Jacobs, neurologist
  1. Edmonton, Alberta

    A large proportion of my patients these days are the worried well types. Nevertheless, their evident relief after a careful assessment and reassurance is for me a considerable reward. However, it takes substantial energy and more time than you might spend on a straightforward and perhaps more serious condition to reassure such a patient.

    He was a youngish, worried well, bank manager when he arrived. He left, despite my best efforts, even more worried. From somewhere he had acquired a pamphlet canvassing for patients with threatened strokes, as part of a proposed clinical study. He had read about transient ischaemic attacks. It was soon clear from his history, …

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