For Dr. Francois Luks, the pen is mightier than the sword. Armed with ink and a blank pad of paper, he begins to draw out a stomach. With a stroke here and some shading there, he deftly sketches the anastomoses of a procedural resection.
His fiancée calls him “The Storyteller.” We sit down outside a cafe during a warm August evening. Still clad in his hospital scrubs, he just finished a shift as a pulmonary/critical care fellow at Rhode Island Hospital.
Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, an OB/GYN, doesn’t have a typical office. Inside are rows of hanging plaques and accolades, a photo of him with former President Bill Clinton, and a set of microphones, connected to a radio broadcasting system. A sign that says “Latino Public Radio” hangs above on the back wall.
It’s 1 a.m., everyone’s running on three cups of coffee / When a man stumbles through the entrance / And I could hear whispers of / It’s him, the homeless man, back in the ER again
they are / people first / more than just numbers and / statistics on a computer screen
His eyes are hidden beneath a pair of shades. I wish I could see them. A tweed cap, or as I like to think of it, a “grandfather” cap, covers his head. He leans his back against the chair with his hands resting on a cane.
Certain events over the past few months and the recent election have revealed a lot of hurt and pain in our country. As future physicians, I believe we are called not only to care medically for our patients, but also to advocate for them. I do not know what the future may hold, but I do know that we can play our part in standing up for our communities and championing the rights of those who are marginalized. I hope we can strive to be medical students and physicians who are defined by empathetic care and healing.
rivers of blood / dried / by formaldehyde
The loudest sound I heard was neither the punctuated laughter of youthful teenagers nor the whispered voices of lovers holding hands, but the wind.
As I take off my glasses / and rub my sore eyes / I realize I have / myopia / in more ways than one.
The sarcophagus before me dominates the exhibition. Intricately carved animals, including a line of fierce lions, arise from the slab of marble. Peering more attentively, I even notice the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, wielding her characteristic shield and helmet. A horse pulls a chariot, and perhaps that is Hector there on the ground, the Prince of Troy now fallen.