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, a physician who teaches at the University of Marburg in Germany found the clues in Season 7, Episode 11, of the Fox television show “House.”
It turned out that Dr. Gregory House, the cantankerous, fictional diagnostician modeled on Sherlock Holmes, had used his powers of deduction to diagnose the very same ailment in a woman played by the actress Candice Bergen on an episode that first aired in 2011.
In this case of life imitating art — or at least television — a paper in The Lancet, a London-based medical publication, described how an ailing man in Germany had gone from doctor to doctor, seeking a diagnosis as his condition worsened.
Finally, in May 2012, the man, then 55, arrived at a University of Marburg clinic run by Dr. Juergen R. Schaefer, who specializes in puzzling cases and happens to be a major fan of “House.” In fact, Dr. Schaefer uses “House” in teaching medicine, and he realized his patient’s symptoms were eerily similar to those of Ms. Bergen’s character on the show. In that episode, she, too, had heart failure. Dr. House’s diagnosis: cobalt poisoning from her artificial metal hip.