Introduction: A Compensatory Pause
* Konner begins the book by describing a Saturday night when a woman came into the emergency room with stab wounds, and doctors needed to insert a tube into her chest to re-inflate her lung.
* Konner describes his book as a compensatory pause, a reflective moment before his life regained its normal rhythm of anthropological work.
Basic Clinical Skills: The First Encounters
* Residents were instructed to 'touch the patient' as a way of keeping a human presence alive in the course of treatment.
* Konner's first experiences touching patients were awkward, but he warmed to the work.
Emergency Ward Surgery: No Man's Land
* Konner says that he finds surgeons arrogant and difficult to deal with, and he is appalled by doctors who walk away from patients' questions.
* It seems to be a general trend that medical personnel try to foist patients off on other departments, but...
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