Off the Shelf
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I came to be in 1816,

Before then I was never seen.


During my birth tuberculosis ran wild,

I think it is fair to say I saved the life of a child.


I arose from the astute mind of Monsieur Laënnec,

I bet you did not detect my French accent.


I’m often found around your neck,

Nowadays I can get pretty high-tech.


Sometimes I float in your white coat pocket,

But you will never find me in a joint socket.


My name means “I look into your chest”,

Always listening closely wherever I am pressed.


At the top I branch like a tree,

And into your ears is my favorite place to be.


As you follow my round snake-like form,

You will find my circular bell that serves to inform.


From the depths of your belly,

To your heart’s favorite melody,

I hear all their music and listen to their cry,

And silence when the time has come to die.


In a pinch I can be used to tap your knee,

And help you learn all that you cannot see.


I have come to be a symbol of your kind,

Finding pictures of us together are so easy to find.


Like Sherlock and Watson we make quite a pair,

Exploring the mysteries of the body’s lair.

Lindsay Boyers Lindsay Boyers (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

Georgetown University School of Medicine

Lindsay Boyers is a medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine with an interest in dermatology. She graduated magna cum laude from University of California Santa Barbara in 2009 with a degree in Communications and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She enjoys both clinical medicine and research, having taken a year to conduct research at the University of Colorado in the department of dermatology. She enjoys the arts, especially painting and writing, and spending time with her family in Colorado.