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General Grant’s Bedside Manner

December 11, 2013

George Shrady was one of U.S. Grant’s attending physicians during the former President’s terminal illness.  When a dissatisfied press began to criticize the medical team, Grant inquired regarding the doctor’s welfare, and then issued a statement affirming him and Dr. Douglas, who had been treating Grant even longer.

Grant suggested his doctors regain control of the narrative by meeting regularly with reporters.  They followed his suggestion and not only enjoyed celebrity but also the satisfaction of educating the public on cancer.

It would be 100 years before another case of presidential cancer would receive such thorough press coverage, and it is now generally assumed that such openness saves lives, but Grant stumbled upon this result by showing compassion for his doctor.

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