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    The doctor’s doctor

    Counseling others, taking time with patients makes difference


    We agreed he would ask our chief resident to take a look. Our chief resident, it seemed, had seen and knew everything.

    I headed back toward my room, wondering how I would be able to satisfy this patient and her husband when two world-famous household names in retina had previously been unable.

    I entered my room and apologized for making them wait. The lady in my exam chair just sat there smiling at me. She was more than smiling—she was beaming. I looked at her husband and he had the same expression on his face.

    “Is everything okay?” I asked.

    “Oh, yes,” they replied.

    “We were just talking about you. We know the really great doctors are the ones that other doctors ask to consult on their patients. We are happy we have found one of those great doctors.”

    I completed my examination and—to my surprise—was able to diagnose and explain the problem to the patient and her husband. The two previous ophthalmologists had not really disagreed but instead had used different terms.

    Peter J. McDonnell, MD
    He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of ...

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