AUGUST 15, 2013, 2:39 PM
A Powerful Tool in the Doctor’s Toolkit
It was well past midnight and most of the patients had settled in. The hospital ward was quiet, except for “the howler.”
The howler was a patient in his 30s who earned his nickname for his nightly bouts of yelling. This was in the early 1990s, during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. I was a second-year medical resident at Bellevue Hospital, in charge of the sprawling AIDS ward that night. Admissions were rolling in, one after another, each more feverish and emaciated than the previous.
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