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Academic Medicine Podcast

Oct 10, 2022

So often, we get caught up in studying and updating the medical chart. When we get to know our patients as human beings, however, we realize that providing care goes beyond triple-checking medication dosages. A human being is the product of every person, every success, and every misfortune he or she has encountered.

Theodora Lananh Swenson, a fourth-year resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, reflects on the importance of understanding the social context in which each patient lives.

The essay read in this episode was published in the Teaching and Learning Moments column in the October 2022 issue of Academic Medicine. Read the essay at