Literary Karaoke

The Best of The Week

In clinic I have two jobs.

The first job is to diagnose. Chief complaint, history of present illness, past medical history, allergies, review of systems, medications (and vitamins and supplements and herbs and any pills or concentrated substances), social history including addictive substance use, family history, physical exam. What is my diagnosis? A clinical portrait of the patient.

The second job is to communicate and negotiate. I have to get a snapshot of the person's medical belief system, their past experience with MDs, their trust or lack of trust, whether they are willing to take a prescription medicine. I have to try to understand their world view at this visit, at this moment in time. And it's not static and may change before I see them again. If I can understand the person well enough to communicate with respect, with concern, with understanding, then we may be able to negotiate a treatment.

In clinic the other day I had a new patient…

"Ayo, man, you like music?"

I look over at the young man with his bulging backpack, strolling up to me nonchalantly in the hot parking lot of an Atlanta summer as I'm heading up towards the grocery store. The black asphalt is slick with dropped food, discarded fast food wrappers, poured out drinks, and young men just trying to make a buck.

"Yes", I say, knowing how the conversation will go.

"What kind of music you like?" he says, opening the backpack and bobbing his dreads.

Images for this review

Dan Wesson is a firearms manufacturer, some what ironically (these days) located in New York State. They were known in the 1970s and 1980s for their custom line of finely-made revolvers. Recently, the company was bought by CZ-USA, the American arm of the Czech firearm manufacturers CZ, and is now a form of 'custom shop' which makes what are called 'semi-custom' guns for them - semi because they are made from selected/tweaked…