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Family are all those people related to you, for better or for worse.

The Family of Patients

Nothing thrills a medical professional more than when a patient's family member is at bedside to assist in the treatment process.[1] Actually, there's something more thrilling: When multiple family members show up in a revolving-door pattern so that you, as the medical provider, have to repeat yourself over and over again.[2]

The Family of a Medical Professional

The role of a medical professional's family, when they remember you, is to bombard you constantly with medical questions. This is dangerous in the case of medical students, because it may cause them to regret their career choice.[3] In the unfortunate case that a family member, like a spouse, forgets about you, it can lead to accidental polygamy. Sometimes a loved one recognizes things aren't going to work, in which case may contact you for the dreaded relationship "goals of care" discussion.[4] It can work in reverse too, like when neurosurgeon Michael Duke showed up for Thanksgiving dinner and almost didn't recognize his child.[5]

Family Meetings

See Family Meeting.

Related Reading


  1. RN Relieved to Find Out That Patient’s Family Member’s Aunt is a Nurse (Gomerblog)
  2. Doctor Trapped In Time Vortex Re-Explaining Medical Care to Multiple Family Members (Gomerblog)
  3. Recently Accepted Medical Student Bombarded by Medical Questions (Gomerblog)
  4. ICU Fellow Inconsolable After Girlfriend Calls for Goals of Care Discussion (Gomerblog)
  5. Neurosurgery Resident Doesn’t Recognize Own Child at Thanksgiving Dinner (Gomerblog)

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