Would you break bad news on a Friday afternoon?
One of my patients was having some worrisome symptoms, so I ordered a set of blood tests. When the results came back last Friday, I saw that there was a strong probability he had cancer. I wanted to refer him to a local oncologist, but their office had already closed for the afternoon. I had a dilemma: should I inform him of the results on a Friday afternoon, knowing we couldn’t act on them until Monday when the oncologist’s office re-opened? Or should I sit on the results until Monday so that he wouldn’t worry all weekend?
What would you have done?
(The details here are deliberately vague, to preserve confidentiality.)