How Letters Bind Doctors to Their Patients

An excerpt from the NYT essay ‘Letters to the Doctor’

Letters On Tabletop

By: Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS

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When I entered the exam room to see my first patient of the day, a doctor from another department at my hospital, I found her sitting in the chair I usually occupy, typing away at the computer on the tiny desk.

“The hospital would be proud of you, doctor, working right up to the time of your own appointment,” I said, shaking my head in mock disbelief at her dedication.

She laughed as she shut the screen down. “Just finishing up some patient charting.”

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I sat in one of the other chairs. She had been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia a couple of years ago, when she was 58, and while she tolerated her initial therapy extremely well, even continuing to work full time, it did not eliminate her leukemia as much as we had hoped.

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