I remember why I decided to apply to medical school when I was young. I also remember the reasons that I chose to be an emergency physician. Recently, I found another reason to be thankful for the career I’ve chosen after having the opportunity to care for a 92-year-old man.
It was one of those days that was not crazy busy and one of those times when, for some unknown reason, I chose to take a few extra moments to be a bit more social. The patient in room 3 was having mild chest discomfort and fatigue, but his vitals were normal, and as I signed the ECG with normal sinus rhythm that was more normal than those of many patients half his age, I walked into the room to meet Walter.
After a typical history and physical examination, I was impressed with how healthy and talkative Walter was as a nonagenarian. Continuing on, I asked him the usual: where he lived, what he had done for a living, how long he had worked for the city, and if he started that job after high school. His answers were not the usual, and I was in for a treat.