ONE OF MY TOUGHEST CASES: The Woman With the Failing Kidneys
Madelaine A. Feldman, M.D.
Craig Mulcahy photo
Wilson, Sanders & Feldman
2633 Napoleon Ave., Suite 530
27 years in practice
B.S. Theatre and Biology, Newcomb College
M.D. Tulane Medical Center
Native of New Orleans
“When nobody can figure out what’s wrong with a patient, they send them to rheumatology,” explains Madelaine A. Feldman of her chosen field, which focuses on autoimmune conditions including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and scleroderma. “Many people I see for the first time are tired and hurt and they don’t know why, so I really have to be a cheerleader, and that’s right up my alley.”
Feldman says her background as a theatre major continues to serve her well as a physician.
“I double majored in theatre and biology, and I think the theatre may be even more helpful to me on a daily basis,” she says. “I think it helps me communicate better with my patients – bring more heart into it. The patients I have are typically my patients for life, so that doctor/patient relationship is really key.”
Feldman says one of her toughest cases was a single woman in her late 20s who had lupus.
“Her kidneys had begun to fail, so we had to start doing some chemotherapy,” Feldman says. “When you do that, a woman’s eggs can be affected, so I asked her if she’d like me to try and do something to protect them in case she wanted children some day. She said yes,
so we did the treatment, but there are never any guarantees.”
The woman’s kidneys ended up failing. She was placed on dialysis and eventually received a transplant from her brother two years ago.
“Four months ago I’m excited to say this woman gave birth to a healthy baby,” she says, “which is incredible with so many things stacked against her. It was a very happy ending to a very complicated case.”