Literary H&P

Medicine is about storytelling. In particular, the medical history and physical (H&P) is an exhaustive write-up of the current status of the patient, with a strong emphasis on the events leading up to hospital admission. However, it leaves little room for creativity or narrative flair.  Here, excerpts from medical H&P write-ups in the style of famous authors:

Jane Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man with diabetes, hypertension and a history of smoking must be at high risk for cardiac events.

Mr. Ruiz, a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, was enjoying his usual state of health until one week ago, thank you very much. He was the last person you’d expect to experience dyspnea, since he was rather proactive regarding his health.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
It has been many years since I’ve looked upon this collection of extraordinary records, but here I shall return to them again. In the winter of 1903, which bore witness to one of the harshest winters in recent memory, Dr. Holmes took upon himself the particularly unsettling case of an asthmatic woman, age 34, of London.

James Joyce
O, I say, cranial nerves I-V are intact. yes
O, I say, cranial nerves VI-XII are intact.

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