Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Things that unite

"This 37 year old Asian American female accountant who is a unmarried mother of two ..." And so it begins, the medical history where I record answers to all of the questions I have ask about age, race, occupation, sexual orientation, number of sexual partners, level of exercise, diet, allergies, recent travel history, family history, social history, good habits and bad. This is what a physician does, ask questions and listen carefully to the answers.

Often there is more information than I need. Occasionally I worry that some of this information will prejudice my judgement. In an effort to prevent such bias I try to remember what I hold in common with my patients. All of us wish to love and to be loved. We all become hungry when we are not fed, tired when we are over worked, cold when we are exposed without adequate protection. All of us have skin. Cut it, regardless of color, and we all bleed. Oh yes, and we all get lonely. This seems to be the case now more than ever before.

On this day, the anniversary of a cataclysmic event in history, when some would separate us in to countries, religions, cultures, and generations, may we all remember the above. It is not trite to say for the sake of peace "many more things unite us than divide."
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