A Doctor's Visit

Chekhov, Anton

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Apr-28-2004
  • Last revised: Aug-17-2006


A junior doctor goes to visit the daughter of a wealthy factory owner. (The professor was too busy to go.) The daughter had been ill for a long time and had just suffered "heart palpitations" the previous night. At first the doctor finds nothing wrong with her heart, and says that her "nerves must have been playing pranks" on her.

The patient’s family presses the doctor to stay for the night. During the evening, he reflects on the oppression of the dreary factory town and relates the sense of loneliness and confinement ("like a prison") to his patient’s condition. Later, in conversing with the young woman, he actually listens to her empathically, rather than just focusing on her symptoms or the function of her heart. He is then able to respond empathically to the young woman’s plight.


First published: 1898. Translated by Constance Garnett.

Primary Source

The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories



Place Published

New York



Page Count