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Marc D. Feldman, MD

Marc D. Feldman, MD

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Patients who exaggerate, feign, or induce physical illness are a great challenge to their physicians. Trained to trust their patients’ self-reports, even competent and conscientious physicians can fall victim to these deceptions.

In The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger describes the desperate plight of sailors and fisherman who, in the fall of 1991, were caught out in the Atlantic Ocean as 2 powerful storms converged into 1.1 Like those mariners, emergency department (ED) clinicians find themselves at the confluence of 2 powerful trends in modern society.

Few phenomena in medicine are
more confounding than the diagnoses
involving deception:
malingering, Munchausen syndrome,
Munchausen by proxy (MBP), and factitious

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