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On My Mind |

Nemo on Vacation

Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(7):606. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.7.606.
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My beeper went off for the tenth time. It was a Sunday morning in August, and I was making hospital rounds before going to the office to see sick children in the afternoon. I didn’t recognize the number in my beeper. “Call the hospital operator,” it said.

“You have an urgent call!” the operator said. “I’m putting you through to Jim from hospital maintenance.” Maintenance? As a pediatrician, I receive many calls from and about patients, but from maintenance?

“I have bad news,” Jim said solemnly. “Your office fish tank is leaking through the ceiling of the floor below. I checked the fish tank. All of the fish are dead, and the water is cloudy. I thought you should know before the children came to see you.” A kind man, Jim was worried about the effects of such a scene on our pediatric patients. I thanked Jim and wondered what to do next.


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