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protection from needlesticks and accidential exposure

Jan 25, 2005

Dr. Bob,

I read your forum often even though I'm not at risk (not yet at least) nor do I have HIV. I am a graduating senior starting medical school in the fall and I sometimes come across rather depressing material relating to needlestick injuries and exposure to HIV for medical students, interns, and physicians. Granted, none of this is going to prevent me from wanting to be a physician, but I just want to know what are some things that can be done to maximize safety in training and in the workplace.

On a lighter note, Dr. Bob, the reason I want to be a physician is to be like you and all the compassionate physicians that truly care about their patients. Even though you yourself are afflicted with HIV, you have not stopped caring and hearing about other people's concerns and continue to live life to the fullest. You give them hope when they are scared and that is what I think a real doctor is. Like many other people say on this forum, you are truly an angel.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I'm delighted you'll soon be entering medical school a rare privilege and rewarding challenge! Once there you'll learn the appropriate techniques to protect yourself from HIV and other blood-borne pathogens. The biggest improvement in recent years has been the enforcement of "universal precautions" and the introduction of safety needles for injections, intravenous catheters, etc.

I believe "compassion" is a true prerequisite for becoming an effective physician. I look forward to one day having you as a colleague!

Study hard. Stay safe. Be well!

Dr. Bob

Can I?
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