by Arthur Kaplan
In 1978, I was doing a rotation at New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University. I was there as a “special student,” having gotten permission from some higher ups to learn something about medicine. I was staring through an ophthalmoscope into the eyeball of a patient who had papilledema, swelling of the optic disc due to intracranial hypertension. As I left the room with a group of third-year medical students, someone asked if we needed to disclose our status as students to the patients before examining them.
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