Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Chief Complaint

Possner, Adam MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000469
Teaching and Learning Moments
Free

Dr. Possner is assistant professor, General Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty Associates, George Washington University, Washington, DC; e-mail: apossner@mfa.gwu.edu.

The patient is a 36-year-old

physician without a significant

grievance history who presents today

complaining of the word “complain” as used

in bed-side and chair-side presentations.

The patient was in his usual state

of mind about the word, which is to say

he didn’t think twice about using it,

until the end of residency when

a mentor told the following story.

One day, during his own residency,

the mentor was presenting in front of

a patient coming in “complaining of”

such and such, when the patient turned to him

and asked, “Do I really complain that much?”

Ever since then, our patient endorses

a substernal cringing sensation and

sharp radiating embarrassment for

whoever uses this word to describe

what a patient is experiencing.

Of note, he also denies caring for

the word “deny” in such presentations,

but that’s a concern for another day.

Adam Possner, MD

Dr. Possner is assistant professor, General Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty Associates, George Washington University, Washington, DC; e-mail: apossner@mfa.gwu.edu.

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges