The Telephone Interview
Over the phone it’s a very lonely life indeed. “Do you think I need to come?” says the patient. You’re busy, the patient has had this particular complaint dozens of times before, the patient needs the money more than you do. And yet this could be the time—the time for the crocky chest pains to be an infarction, the time for the “spastic colon” to be an acute obstruction, with gangrenous bowel setting in, the time for “bleeding from my hemorrhoids” to be a cancer on top of the hemorrhoids. There is no time to call in a committee. The decision must be made, and it is a consensus of one. (Halberstam, 1977)
KeywordsTelephone Interview Office Staff Spastic Colon Telephone Medicine Telephone Encounter
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