The Last Well Child

Q: "What is a well person?"
A: "A well person is a patient who has not been completely worked up."

As I enter the exam room, a smiling 10-year-old boy greets me. Pete,
my last patient of a long day, is here for his annual well visit. I
chat with him about his life — home, school, nutrition, exercise,
sleep, etc. — and I'm struck by something. Pete is really well. He's
well-fed (but not too much), active and well-rested, and, most
importantly, he's happy. He has not been to see me in an entire year,
and only comes in for preventive health counseling. I think back on my
entire day… and on my whole week. Pete is different from every other
child I have seen this week. He is, in fact, the only truly "well" child
I have seen in a long, long time. And I wonder — is he the last?

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Originally published in the Huffington Post

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