SURF  |   September 2018
Defining a “Fight” Against Cancer
Author Notes
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Matthew J. Hadfield, DO, University of Connecticut, Department of Internal Medicine, 263 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06030-0001. Email:
Article Information
Addiction Medicine / Gastroenterology / Imaging / Medical Education / Pulmonary Disorders
SURF   |   September 2018
Defining a “Fight” Against Cancer
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2018, Vol. 118, e84-e85. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.138
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2018, Vol. 118, e84-e85. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.138
I nervously walked to my patient's room. It was one of my first patient encounters as a medical student, and my preceptor asked me to check in on a patient who had been admitted the previous day. As I walked through the dimly lit hallways, I tried to recount all of the aspects of conducting a proper history and physical examination. I could see the flickering television illuminating an otherwise quiet and dark room. My attending physician had given me little more direction than to check on Jimmy, a 61-year-old man with pneumonia admitted the day before. 
As I entered, Jimmy sat wrapped in a blanket, drifting to sleep. Immediately, his eyes widened and he began clearing some of the leftover cans of ginger ale from his tray table as he greeted me. “Hey, brother, you must be the medical student? Dr S. said you'd swing by tonight,” he started with a grin, pausing briefly to clear his throat. I felt almost instantly at ease by his warm personality and, within seconds, it felt like I was chatting with an old friend. I stood beside Jimmy and placed my hand on his shoulder as I began to listen to the left side of his left lung. I heard the rushing air of his breathing with intermittent crackles. I moved to his right side and heard nothing, no breath sounds at all. Puzzled, I began moving my stethoscope to different locations, not quite understanding this apparent lack of breathing. 

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