Jim Eichel

Jim Eichel went to medical school at UCSD in La Jolla and settled in the Bay Area as a family physician. He wrote about his experiences in the Reader as a doctor in the late 1990s.

Articles by Jim Eichel

If He Goes, I Go Too

An elder death devotional.

It seemed as if everyone who worked at our local hospital knew Jake. A self-proclaimed “recovered hater of doctors,” he became a fixture, volunteering in the emergency room. The wisecracking 86-year-old’s wrinkled face, slumped shoulders, ...

If You Sue Me, I Can't Be Your Physician

Spinal infection from a dental procedure...huh?

“The pain is in my heart. I want you to send me to a heart specialist so that I can have an angiogram and have this taken care of right away.” Stephan’s deep, subdued tones, ...

Why Your Doctor’s in a Bad Mood

More from the war on medical insurance.

Managed care is forcing patients to get creative. Last year, I got a letter from an internal medicine colleague who practices just a few blocks from me. She and two other women internists took the ...

As Killing as the Canker to the Rose

A sister slips away

Melanie was 43 years old and determined. A 104-degree temperature did not keep her from going to her editing job at Blue Cross, but the mass on her left upper arm kept getting bigger and ...

Malpractice from the Doc’s Point of View

A lawyer’s daughter faints and sues.

WRAPPING UP A FULL WORKDAY AT 9:00 P.M., I PULLED THE LAST COUPLE OF ENVELOPES FROM MY “IN” BOX. THE HEAVY MANILA ONE PIQUED MY INTEREST, SO I OPENED IT. “Notice of Intent to Sue...” ...

Irma is allergic to life

House-bound patient finds menace everywhere.

‘I NEED TO HAVE SOME TEETH EXTRACTED.” IRMA ALWAYS SPEAKS AS THOUGH EACH WORD MIGHT CONSUME THE LAST OF HER LIMITED ENERGY. “BUT I’M ALSO HAVING A PROBLEM WITH MY HEART.” Irma has never come ...

I'm not God

Will Greta's baby choose life?

Mt two latex-gloved fingers extended as far into Greta's vagina as they could through the tight rubbery of of her cervix, grazing the firm, smooth, slippery surface of her baby’s lowest part, but I could ...

Environment of Mistrust

Patients get testy.

As I was completing my instructions to a diminutive 70-year-old Filipino gentleman with congestive heart failure, a knock at the door cut me short. “A patient is having a seizure.” Jo, a medical assistant with ...

I was worried that Fred might never wake up

Author misdiagnoses symptoms of coming heart attack.

“HELLO?” I tried not to sound too tired or annoyed, even though I was answering the phone from my bed and looking forward to ending my day. It was about 10:00 p.m. on a Friday ...

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