Mini-Biographies Help Clinicians Connect With Patients

Bob Hall was recovering from yet another surgery in March 2014 when a volunteer walked into his hospital room. It had been a rocky recovery since his lung transplant three months earlier at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.
The volunteer wasn’t there to check on his lungs or breathing. Instead, she asked Hall if he wanted to tell his life story.
Hall served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After the war, he had a political career as a Massachusetts legislator, and then led professional associations for 30 years.
“I’m anything but a shy guy, and I’m always eager to share details about my life,” Hall said, half-jokingly.
Hall, who was 67, spoke to the volunteer for over an hour about everything from his time as a D student in high school (“I tell people I graduated in the top 95% of my class”) to his time in the military (“I thought the Marines were the toughest branch and I wanted to stop the communists”). He finished with the health problems that finally landed him in the hospital, and brought him to the present day.
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