Medicine: The Patient's Friend

The black teen-ager had good reason to be upset. His injured father had been rushed to the emergency room of Chicago's Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, and the distraught boy was unable to learn anything about his condition. Harried doctors and nurses were too busy to concern themselves with a frightened kid. Then the boy met Mahon Washington. The avuncular black man ducked into the treatment room to learn the patient's prognosis, returned to assure the youngster that his father would live.

Such service is part of Washington's daily routine. Although he had no medical experience, Washington, 56, was hired in...

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