Every patient has a rich history behind their current state of health

As I was reviewing his chart, I noticed under social history that “freelance artist/painter” was listed as his occupation. I’ve never met a patient of such talent and honestly, I was excited to meet him. When I arrived at the ER, I was introduced to an unassuming elderly man. He wore a pair of worn out jeans and a burnt orange T-shirt. Tufts of white hair emanated from under his baseball cap. He ran out of home oxygen a day ago and was brought my ambulance for COPD exacerbation. After being on high-flow oxygen for some time, he transitioned to a nasal cannula dialed to three liters. “Hi Mr. Birch, my name’s T.J. I’m a third-year med student with the treatment team.” “H...

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