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Spring/Summer 2011

Credit Where It's Due

By: Norman Poulson, MD
Date: May 20, 2011

I read with disappointment the article “When a Child’s Heart Fails,” in the winter issue of Hopkins Medicine, particularly the sentence at the end of the first paragraph, “Now it was Hopkins time.”

 The “physician on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” who first saw and evaluated Ally Fowler was Kevin Karpowicz, a primary care pediatrician in the Johns Hopkins Community Physicians Kent Island practice. “Hopkins time” began when Ally came through the door to see Dr. Karpowicz. Although the other Hopkins physicians who cared for Ally are rightly depicted as heroes, I believe the unsung hero in this story is the physician who first saw Ally and was perceptive and skilled enough to realize  that she might have a very rare but potentially fatal disorder when she presented with complaints seemingly unrelated to her heart. The high-tech, glamorous side of Hopkins medicine receives much deserved attention, but it is the primary care physicians who, day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute have to make the critical decisions that separate the few seriously ill patients from the many they see with more ordinary problems.

Norman Poulsen, MD
Regional Medical Director
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians