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Security was well-planned for Biden visit

Mighty Answer Man, in August when Vice President Biden was here, I heard that the Secret Service had snipers on the Seneca corn water tower to protect the motorcade. That seems excessive. I wonder if that was true.

It only seems excessive when nothing happens. It's true that when Biden was here on Aug. 21, a few well-armed law enforcement officials were perched high up on the landmark corn cob water tower, keeping an eye on things. I agree that in quiet little Rochester, it's surreal to see men with guns up there, but Biden gave a speech at the fairgrounds, so there was no better vantage point. The vice president went on to make a stop at Mac's Cafe downtown .

That was too easy. Since it's hump day and I should make an extra effort today, here's another:

Dear Answer Man, there was an article in the Post-Bulletin on Sept. 11 about a conference at Mayo on end-of-life care. in the article, one of the Mayo physicians was asked how many times he has been present during a patient's dying experience. He was quoted as having had "about 40,000 clinic encounters with the terminally ill." Is this possible? How many deaths are there each year in Olmsted County? Or is he counting multiple visits to the same patient? And why would someone keep track of such things? -- Just Wondering

The physician who made that comment at the Mayo conference was Dr. Ed Creagan , who's one of Mayo's best-known and most-quotable docs. He was described in the story as an "end-of-life specialist," and he's also no spring chicken, so it doesn't seem surprising to me that he's had tens of thousands of "encounters with the terminally ill."


That's what Ed said when we double-checked with him last week. He responded to the reporter, Jeff Hansel, by email and said he specifically said "patient encounters, not new patients. Most patients are seen multiple times. Thirty-six years of practice, approximately 200 work days per year, approximately eight to 10 patients per day, and far more when on hospital service generates an enormous experience with human resilience."

Good answer, Ed. The question, by the way, came from a Mayo doc who shall remain nameless.

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