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Sometimes high-tech care can be high value

“Can you hear it?” she asked with a smile. The thin, pleasant lady seemed as struck by her murmur as I was. She was calm, perhaps amused by the clumsy second-year medical student listening to her heart. “Yes, yes I can,” I replied, barely concealing my excitement. We had just learned about the heart sounds in class. This was my first time hearing anything abnormal on a patient, though it was impossible to miss — her heart was practically shouting at me. Her mitral valve prolapse — a fairly common, benign condition — had progressed into acute mitral regurgitation. She came to the hospital short of breath because her faulty valve was letting blood back up into her ...

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