Kent Sepkowitz, M.D., in the New York Times:
As a profession, I think we do tend to run on the dry side, though till recently the reason had eluded me. Then, last month, my wife and I bumped into an acquaintance of hers while walking along the street. The person, unbeknownst to my wife, is a patient of mine, someone whom I treat for a chronic infection. After the patient and I shared a moment of mutual panic, we three chatted amicably and moved on.
Except, that evening, my wife kept asking me why I was being so quiet and, well, boring. And I suddenly saw the problem: doctors are waterlogged with secrets, hundreds of them, thousands of them.
Each day brings a new batch: patients’ admissions about drug use or sexual indiscretion, a hidden family, a long-held dream, an ancient heartache, undisclosed H.I.V. infection.