The VIP (very important patient)
My shoulder had been in agony for several days. Having recently started my revision for the impending clinical exams, I was aware that this was probably not a symptom I could ignore any longer. I slipped away from the ward where I had been examining patients and went downstairs to the emergency department. The most senior consultant saw me straight away.
I had barely begun to give him my history of sudden onset, pleuritic shoulder pain when he started listening to my chest, looking concerned. “Don't worry,” he said, sounding more sympathetic than I had ever known him to be with other patients, “We'll take good care of you.” Before one could breathe “apical pneumothorax,” I was waltzed into the x ray department, scanned, assessed, diagnosed, medicated, and sent on my way again.
This efficiency was particularly impressive as this was in a busy general hospital-the emergency department that morning