Author: Patrick McCabe

Patrick McCabe Patrick McCabe (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Alabama School of Medicine


Patrick is a Class of 2014 medical student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. Born and raised in California, he attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and then spent two years applying his English major by teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth graders literature, grammar, and writing for the university’s ACE program in Mobile, Alabama. Current extracurricular interests include trying to resume reading and writing as hobbies, watching films, listening to music and collecting film soundtracks, relaxing with friends, and waiting, with diminishing patience, for the Cal Golden Bears football team to have an undefeated season. He remains undecided about a potential field of practice.




The Mild, Existential Adventures Past and Present of Javier Fitzsimmons, Dollar Store Teddy Bear

Author’s note: This piece will be published in the University of Alabama School of Medicine’s upcoming Voices in Word Literary Journal, published by its Narrative Medicine Interest Group. Descended from Spanish-English lineage but made in China, Javier Fitzsimmons’s brown, burly, furry form lay squished against the basket grating by the weight of a multitude of stuffed animals. In the 1500s after the wreckage of the Spanish Armada washed up along the English shores, a poor Spanish soldier …

Anecdotes from the Wards

Scene I: 7:30 a.m. in the OR at the VA [Elderly gentleman with too many comorbidities to be induced into sleep. He is given local anesthesia and lies draped on the operating table. General surgery is suctioning a fluctuant mass from his upper left thorax. Case has been opened.] Patient behind curtain: Oh, God. Oh, God! Errrgggggh! Anesthesiologist: We’re just gonna give you some more medicine. Chief Resident: It’s right around your broken rib. There …

Medical Cameos: Looper

Author’s note: Mild spoilers ensue. “Call the doc.” Jeff Daniels, as a crime boss named Abe, utters the only explicit reference to a health care professional in director Rian Johnson’s film Looper, in which medicine plays a tiny but indelibly disgusting role. For the central conceit, criminal organizations in the future send captives back in time where hitmen called “loopers” shoot and kill them. The loopers live in a time period where there is no …

Reading Fiction in Medical School? Surely You Jest.

When he visited UAB last year, Abraham Verghese opened his talk with the statement that if one no longer read fiction, the brain would die. His strong words offered reassurance that at least some medical professionals value literature. Further, the statement suggested that he makes time for it and would allot time for it for others. Indeed, at Stanford, he spends his afternoons brainstorming within a thinking room instead of a laboratory. Verghese’s declaration also …

Patrick McCabe Patrick McCabe (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Alabama School of Medicine


Patrick is a Class of 2014 medical student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. Born and raised in California, he attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and then spent two years applying his English major by teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth graders literature, grammar, and writing for the university’s ACE program in Mobile, Alabama. Current extracurricular interests include trying to resume reading and writing as hobbies, watching films, listening to music and collecting film soundtracks, relaxing with friends, and waiting, with diminishing patience, for the Cal Golden Bears football team to have an undefeated season. He remains undecided about a potential field of practice.