The white coated man's burdenBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7468.723 (Published 23 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:723
- John Moore-Gillon, consultant physician (email@example.com)
- Bart's and the London Trust, London
Mrs Jones was a truly delightful woman in her late 60s who struggled with the problems posed by diabetes, hypertension, angina, asthma, peptic ulceration, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and a modest degree of renal impairment. Unsurprisingly, she was usually markedly symptomatic from one or more of these conditions. As a newly appointed medical registrar, I encountered her in my first outpatient clinic. I saw somebody who was clearly disabled trying to make the best of it but obviously becoming pretty low spirited in consequence of the constant struggle. My role, I knew, was to relieve her plight and restore her to a pleasurable and fulfilling life, so I set about tackling her multiplicity of problems.
Over the weeks, I improved her joint pain and her angina, but the drugs aggravated her …