Case histories by David S. Starr, MD, JD, Author at Clinical Advisor

Case histories by David S. Starr, MD, JD

All articles by Case histories by David S. Starr, MD, JD

With TIAs, timing is everything

Seemingly stable after transient ischemic attacks, a patient was actually just days away from disaster. Mr. G, 54, was an experienced physician assistant in a small family practice. Most of his patients in this rural clinic were retired and elderly, so his caseload had a high proportion of cardiovascular disease. One of these established patients—a…

Too much empathy can backfire

When a clinician identifies with a patient’s condition, objectivity may be lostand mistakes become likely. Dr. F, 58, was planning to retire in a few years and go to work for an international medical charity. Because she had never been sued, she believed she was at low risk for facing a malpractice claim at this…

Appendicitis masked by constipation

Would the suggested pelvic exam have detected the problem in time to prevent appendiceal rupture? Dr. T was busily growing a family practice in a suburb in the Southwest. A 20-year-old woman came to him complaining of distension and cramping, which she noted had occurred previously in an ongoing struggle with constipation. Her abdomen seemed…

Family’s fear complicates E. coli case

When immigrants provide bogus contact information, clinicians can’t follow up on dangerous test results. Mrs. C, 35, had been a physician assistant for two years at a clinic in a large urban hospital. The clinic attracted a significant number of immigrant patients. That posed no problems for Mrs. C—until a patient’s mother left false contact…

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