The High Stakes How-To of HIV Diagnoses & Other Bombs



Have heard the story of the S-4 submarine? Pretend you’re–not a medical student this time–but a diver. The year is 1927. One frosty December day, your Massachusetts Coast Guard crashes and sinks the USS S-4. Heroically, you rescue many survivors yet six remain. Any attempt to open the hull simply allows more water stealing away precious oxygen. During their final hours, you place your ear to the hull and pick up faint Morse code–is there any hope?

This question adds a layer of complexity to the already daunting task of delivering difficult diagnoses Continue reading

You’re HIV Positive

RIbbonLying half-naked in some cloth napkin they call a gown, you wonder–when is Doctor Resident coming? The initial diagnosis of traveler’s diarrhea from a recent trip to Trinidad doesn’t explain your return to the ER. After two weeks in the hospital and the standard battery of tests, including HIV, your results should be available.

Excuse me, Dr. Come-Lately?  You begin timidly, when will I hear back…  Continue reading