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A Piece of My Mind |

In Defense of Phobias

James T. Rosenbaum, MD
JAMA. 2008;299(20):2368. doi:10.1001/jama.299.20.2368.
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Growing up in a family filled with physicians, I was often tested with the following question: What do you call a Jewish boy who does not like the sight of blood? The answer: a lawyer. While I hope that I have not been too adversely impacted by both the gender and ethnic stereotypes that the joke relies on, like many jokes it touches on a sensitive topic: phobias and medical care. Poking needles into body cavities and threading tubing up or down or into a body part: these are not “normal” behaviors. And they carry with them attendant risks. Why shouldn't they be accompanied by some degree of fear, for both the “perpetrator” and the recipient?

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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