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These triplets just graduated from Emory’s School of Medicine—joining their family’s long line of doctors
In May, Emory University graduated some 140 students from its School of Medicine. Eight of them matched into orthopaedic surgery. Three of them are triplets. Another generation in a long line of family doctors, meet Lauren, Stephanie, and Allison Boden—the daughers of Dr. Mary Caufield and Dr. Scott Boden.
When a little purple spot first appeared on Shelly Matheson’s ankle, it seemed like something curious that she would mention to her internist. Then, it got bigger and painful. After years of no diagnosis, she went to Emory Clinic's Special Diagnostic Services, which gave her the right diagnosis.
Emory Clinic’s Special Diagnostic Services is a place for doctors to refer adult patients with perplexing symptoms—some who have gone years with undiagnosed diseases. Meet Dr. W. Clyde Partin Jr., the director of Emory Clinic’s Special Diagnostic Services, who seems like a kinder, gentler version of television's Dr. Gregory House.
When Marietta middle school teacher Jackie Roché's face started to grow rounder although she hadn't gained any weight, she knew something was wrong. “It’s so scary to not know what’s wrong with you,” says Roché. After multiple doctors were unable to help, she went to Emory Clinic's Special Diagnostic Services, which gave her the right diagnosis within minutes.
Caroline Kalchthaler woke up one morning with a black eye, as if she had been punched or fallen out of bed and hit her face. But no such thing had happened. She tenderly covered it with makeup, and the bruising subsided. But then the black eye occurred again, and again.
Dr. Joy Baker’s patients travel 40 miles on average to see her. Some pull up in their own cars, but if they’re too poor to own one, they might hitch rides with friends or on the Medicaid van, which must be scheduled three days in advance and also can run early or late.
She was in her early 20s, and she had severe rheumatoid arthritis in her hips. It had gotten so bad that she had to pull out of college. She had developed hip flexion contracture, which means her hip was stuck in a fixed, bent position. Even if she tried to stand up, her head would nearly touch the ground.
Fifteen years ago I had a patient with bladder cancer that had spread to her kidney. We decided to remove the kidney, but afterward the X-rays showed the cancer was much more advanced than we’d thought. Now I was faced with telling her that she was probably going to die.
I kept glancing in the direction of Twin B. The staff was huddled around the baby, and I saw they were moving more quickly than they would for a normal newborn. I caught the eye of the attending neonatologist, who shook her head. I felt sick.
She was a college student who developed what’s called fulminant liver failure, which happens to probably 2,000 people a year in the country. Without a liver transplant, she would have died within a week.
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