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We begin this primary in an unusual way, by pointing you to this month’s View from Here. There are a number of published and quite poignant accounts by physicians of what it’s like to put on that backless hospital gown and become a patient. The story in this issue is different—it is an account of an emergency physician finding himself ‘on the other side of the curtain’ as his wife is treated for an emergency. This is not a story that criticises or praises our care, but rather one that reveals the emotions of those whose lives can be irreversibly changed by the outcome of their loved ones. Above all, it’s a reminder that we have a duty to our patients and also to their families, to provide information, reassurance (when appropriate) and empathy.
After you’ve read this, we’d suggest you move on to two related papers that demonstrate the fact that the art of medicine is alive, well and as essential as ever. In the Editor’s Choice, Babl et al validated the Nexus II guidelines for head injury …
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