Not A Script From ‘House’

In today’s New York Times, you can find this article by Lisa Sanders.  It’s not a rejected script for House, but it sure reads like one.

His blood pressure was perfect. His heart rate was regular and slow. In fact, his entire exam was completely normal. He got another EKG. Also normal. The patient’s blood tests from the E.R. seemed to indicate that he had had a heart attack, but none of the EKGs or the angiogram revealed any abnormality.

The problem for Decter was one that doctors face regularly: how to reconcile tests that contradict one another.

As it happens, the patient, was, by virtue of good fortune and good training, sent by his doctor to the right specialist, who, also by good fortune and good training and just the right experience, quickly made the correct diagnosis (which was not heart attack).  And yes, so far they are all living happily ever after… But this, the need to reconcile contradictory tests, is a regular occurance?  I do so wish they had defined “regular” a bit more.

It worries me a little that it sometimes takes quite a bit of luck to get the proper diagnosis in today’s medical environment.  But you know, I think it bothers me even more that life is imitating TV!

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