It has long been my practice to write a letter of condolence to the next of kin of any patient of mine who has died. As a thoracic and sleep physician, I share a practice with my wife (a psychiatrist) in rooms attached to a private city hospital. I rarely see patients in their own environment, as most come from outlying suburbs or provincial towns. Nevertheless, I get to know many patients quite well, sometimes over a period of many years.
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