The Story Of No Apparent Distress By Rachel Pearson

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No Apparent Distress is the coming-of-age story of Rachel Pearson as she navigates through her unexpected journey of coming to be a doctor. Originally Pearson planned on becoming a writer; however, in the summer of her last year of college, Pearson takes up a job at an abortion clinic. Little did she know that the stories of the women she would counsel would inspire her to become a medical professional. Through years of medical education and training, Pearson learns that there is more to being a doctor than she had ever imagined. Dr. Rachel Pearson grew to become the doctor she is today not only through education, but also through her relationships with her family, peers, and patients.

When Pearson tells her story, it is clear that
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Jacqueline, or Dr. Black, was one of the multiple people who Pearson met who strongly believed in the importance of standing by their patients through difficult times. By the time Jacqueline’s patient, Gloria was found to have cervical cancer, she had already had her phone number. Pearson writes about how some doctors, like Jacqueline, choose to make doctoring the main focus of their life. While the workdays of many doctors ended as soon as they left the office, Jacqueline spent her time convincing St. Vincent’s House to fund Gloria’s CT scan, driving Gloria to Houston to apply for charity care, and continuously comforting her through their struggle to find a treatment. This way of practicing medicine is seen as wrong by some doctors and even Pearson thinks that some doctors get too involved with their patients. However, Pearson also believes after witnessing many of these cases that a doctor’s obsessive advocacy for his or her patients can be a dividing factor between life and death. It was as a result of Jacqueline’s work that Gloria eventually obtained treatment from Houston Methodist which consequently saved her …show more content…
Rose. Later on in the book Pearson tells us their full story and refers back to her fatal mistake throughout the rest of her autobiography. Mr. Rose came to Pearson with several unusual symptoms so she decided to perform a full physical exam. Part of the exam required her to feel his stomach for anything that might point out the cause of his severe pain. Pearson didn’t want to hurt her patient so she did not press as hard where it hurt her patient the most. However, if she had only pressed harder, she would have felt the cancerous mass that was growing inside of Mr. Rose. Pearson’s other two mistakes were ignoring her patient’s extreme weight loss and the awful smell of his urine sample. These were two more indicators of Mr. Rose’s kidney cancer but Pearson thought that his symptoms were related to liver cirrhosis instead. His cancer ended up spreading to his liver, lungs, and even brain and he died three months later. Along with her misdiagnosis, Pearson deeply regrets how once he was diagnosed, she did not come to visit him. As hard as this lesson was for her to learn, it made her a more careful and caring

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