I had developed a provider-patient relationship with a patient that had recurrent abdominal pain. She had been through multiple imaging testing and lab work, with no definitive results. The patient and I felt something was wrong and were very frustrated.
I finally obtained authorization to order an magnetic resonance angiogram, and indeed the findings were consistent with liver cancer. When the oncologist spoke with me on the phone, she was very surprised that the cancer had been found, and asked me how I made the decision to obtain this imaging test.
I told the oncologist both the patient and I instinctually felt that something was wrong. Of course, we were both upset about the diagnosis, but now knew we could do something about it.
This moment showed me that even with experience, it is important in some cases to follow our instincts.