A leap forward

Today a medical student was presenting a case of a woman with a history of multiple “failed pregnancies”. As the student finished the history, Dr. Justin, the supervising obstetric doctor asked “did you question her about the details of the previous miscarriages?”

The student went silent, took a few long, deep breaths and then softly said “no, I didn’t”.

At this juncture, the supervising doctors often begin laughing at the student and say things like “what were you thinking” or “you will likely fail this rotation” or “I would hate to have you for my doctor”.

However, Dr. Justin calmly said “OK, no problem. Can you think of a reason why I would want to know this information?”

This may seem trivial to most people, but this was a huge step. He was not berating or humiliating the student but was asking him to truly think about the patient. He helped the student synthesize his answer and they eventually arrived at a solid conclusion.

At the end, I could not contain my enthusiasm. I congratulated Dr. Justin on his teaching in front of the entire audience.

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