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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Tuesday, October 19, 2004
    Conversations with an Endocrinologist About Food

    Dr. Alice and Dr. V. are chatting in Dr. V's office. Dr. V is trying to finish her phone calls and get out of the office (it's her half day) and has just finished speaking to a patient who needs surgery to resect a thyroid nodule.

    Dr. V (mumbling to herself as she writes a consult): Please... evaluate... for surgical resection... cold nodule consistent... with...colloid.

    Dr. Alice (apropos of nothing): Did you know mayonnaise is a colloid?

    Dr. V (blinks, then recovers): Well, that makes sense, actually, it would be. (pauses) Thanks for sharing.

    Medical Assistant (who has entered room just in time to hear a stray phrase): Did you all just mention mayonnaise?

    Dr. Alice (trying to rescue conversation): Well, a colloid is droplets of liquid suspended in something. In mayonnaise the liquid is suspended in fat. Egg yolk. In the thyroid it's suspended in protein.

    Medical Assistant (eyeing doctors, backs slowly out of room): Oh, okay.

    Dr. V (calls after the MA): Don't worry, doctors are just weird!

    Dr. Alice: Especially us!



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