The young intern, Dr O'Connor, is beginning his rotation in the cardiac
care unit in 1983. His faculty attending, Dr Califf, notices that Dr O'Connor
has initiated β-blockade in a patient with heart failure. The discussion
that ensues does not reflect positively on Dr O'Connor's future career. In
2000, both physicians realize that their understanding of blockade of the β-receptor
as a simple matter of reducing myocardial contractility was shortsighted and
fundamentally incorrect. Dr O'Connor had initiated the right therapy but for
the wrong reason.
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