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A Piece of My Mind |

Going Home

Anne Jacobson, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2009;302(19):2071-2072. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1559.
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Maria is going home today.

Her name was halfway down the daily patient schedule, and I met it with the usual mixed reaction of anticipation and dread. Over the ten years we had known one another as physician and patient, we both had changed in ways that allowed her appointment time to feel less like a wrestling match and more like a slow, mutual reality check. She was now nearing 70, her hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol were probably as good as they were going to get, and her medications were finally set in a regimen that she understood and I was therefore reluctant to change. Treating her depression and anxiety, however, had been one of my greatest challenges as a young physician fresh out of residency. The limited medical and psychological resources for this uninsured, immigrant woman and the life story underlying her symptoms only magnified my baseline sense of inadequacy.

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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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