Tag: geriatrics

Damien Zreibe Damien Zreibe (8 Posts)


University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

Hello! My name is Damien and I'm a student at the University of South Florida's College of Medicine. I was born and raised on the island of Antigua, and have been writing poetry and fiction for years. I hope you enjoy my work!

House at Auvres

Fading Memories of Love and Martinis

“If I begin to repeat myself, just tell me. I have Alzheimer’s. At least, I think I do,” the elderly gentleman said with a smile. This elderly patient of mine was a jovial gentleman and in fantastic shape with unremarkable vitals on physical examination. If it was not for his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the physical and emotional state of this patient given his age is nothing less than enviable.


Why I Am in the Room

She asked me if I was from New York. I told her I wasn’t. I was from California, actually, but enjoying myself in New York City while I was here. I asked her where she grew up. She said Brooklyn. She asked to see my referral card. I asked her to clarify. She said she wanted to see my referral card. For coming here. And did the super know I was here? Where was my card?


How to Make Challah: The Jewish Octopus

Challah bread is traditionally prepared for Jewish holidays and the Sabbath. We made ours on a Wednesday night. Helen and Marie stare warily from their wheelchairs as a dozen medical students file into the retirement home lounge, toting tubs of flour and challah dough. “We’re not playing bingo?” Helen asks, looking disappointed, as students and octogenarians begin matching up for the evening.

Yes, Dear

Now six months away from graduating from medical school, I’ve started to reflect on the patients who hold a special place in my heart and memories, who taught me invaluable life lessons. We were in the assisted-living home of an elderly couple who had agreed to meet with us so we could practice our interviewing skills as first-year medical students. The old woman was sitting in a reclining armchair, leaning back. She had multiple medical problems, …

Isolated and Unhealthy: Geriatrics in America

The art of medicine encompasses healing of both the body and the mind, and thus, an understanding of the complex relationship between a patient’s mental well-being and physical disease state. This psychological and physical interplay is even more important in the elderly population, as they are more susceptible to physical disease, and more vulnerable to preventable, psychological neglect. Providing comprehensive care to our large elderly population is a public health necessity. A recent study showed …

A Wait for the Bus: A Solution for Wandering in Dementia

I’m sitting in a class on dementia. The doctor is lecturing about the condition’s prevalence, prognosis, neuropathology, diagnostic criteria, risk factors, deterministic genes and pharmacologic treatment. On a slide entitled “Non-pharmacologic Management,” the doctor tells us that dementia often leads to wandering. Half of those who wander and are not found in 24 hours are found dead. To try to prevent patients from wandering far, some assisted living centers have installed fake bus stops. When …

A Story of Love from Psychiatry

The patient was a man in his sixties, sitting in the armchair. His wife was next to him. He was there for his routine appointment with a psychiatrist about his depression, stress and anxiety. A year ago, he had a stroke, followed by a motor vehicle accident. His wife is now his caretaker. “It’s hard to take care of him at home, when I’m at work all day, too,” she said. “And he hasn’t been …

Beta Amyloid Blues

In the kitchen on the floor counting the tiles Again because the number slips Like all the other numbers slip Nothing can be proven this way or solved And when you call, you never mean to call the names you say are not the names You leave the windows open while the neighbors try not to see But sometimes it is pieced together A quilt like waves in a squall Electricity the thread A brilliant …

Elder Abuse and You: Read Between the Lines

My medical school recently hosted a sweet elderly patient to share her experience of living with gout. Mrs. J is a poised, elegant and vibrant lady of 82 years who has the stamina and vitality of a young adult. Her zeal for life and positive attitude—despite the debilitating disease—is contagious. Her openness about her struggles and the challenges she faces as a patient make her an invaluable teacher to us as medical students.  She states that …

Shaudee Parvinjah Shaudee Parvinjah (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of California Irvine School of Medicine

Shaudee is a Class of 2016 medical student at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.

A native Californian, Shaudee earned her BS in biological sciences at the University of California Irvine in 2011. She feels lucky to continue to live in and study medicine at UC Irvine where she can be close to her family and friends with whom she shares a loving bond. An Avid yoga practitioner, Shaudee firmly believes in the power of inner peace and a calm mind as key to health and happiness. She is the founding co-chair of UCI's AMA-MSS chapter and is passionate about health care policy at the local and national level. She continuously strives to educate herself on health policy by interacting with local congressmen and women and advocating for GME funding, and other pertinent issues to medical students. She is also the Co-president of UCI's Family Medicine Interest Group and chair of patient education for the student-run Shifa Health Clinic in Orange County.