A lesson learned from the death of an expat
In hindsight, it seemed obvious to everyone but Al (not his real name). He continued to blame the doctor. Al was a native English speaker. The doc spoke English well. Al's mistake was he listened to the doc though the conventions and filters of his culture, not the doctor's.
After a comprehensive annual physical, the doc used a common English noun to describe a finding. Al later said he didn't know what the doc meant, didn't ask anyone else, and didn't google it. The doc scheduled an invasive procedure. Afterwords he told Al it neither confirmed or ruled out his initial concern. What he didn't tell him was the next move was up to Al. In Al's home country, the next move would have been the doc advising a second opinion and or suggesting additional tests because of the potential nature of the problem.
Al did nothing. About a year later he was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer and given a zero probability of survival. Al carried on with courage and purpose. He passed a few days ago.
ER Oct 2008 at age 54. An expat mostly settled in Thailand.