A case for at-home hospital care

Mr. Smith was a sixty-eight-year-old man who came to the Veterans Affairs hospital where I was a medical student complaining of chest pain. “With chest pain, it’s all about the story,” my resident, the physician in charge of our team, said. We talked to him to find out what he was doing when it started, how long it lasted, how intense it was if it was still there. His electrocardiogram hadn’t shown signs of an acute myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, and we drew blood to make sure there was no detectable damage to his heart. He received some heart medications and over several days waited while we “ruled out” an MI. The last step in that “rule out” included a hear...

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