Understanding the origins of words is helpful in medicine. “Genu” and “corpus” are Latin for knee and body, respectively. “Hippos” is Greek for “horse” and “kampos” for “sea monster.” (Can you tell I am in a brain sciences block)?
Growing up in an Asian American immigrant household, I frequently encountered and grappled with my parents’ reserved manner of expressing themselves. Instead of using words to communicate their sadness or anger, my parents would barricade themselves in their room and refuse to say a word.
My friend sat dutifully by my side in the squeaky plastic chairs of the emergency department waiting room. She tried her best to subtly come up with conversation ideas to keep me talking; our misguided belief in the old wives’ tale about keeping a person with a concussion awake showed how much more we had to learn.
Post-election, many of us in the medical field have become ever more aware of the somber sentiments expressed by the groups that were rhetorically and literally targeted throughout the election cycle. Many of us are women, immigrants, people of all faiths, people of color, refugees, disabled individuals and members of the LGBT community. We understand that policies and hateful rhetoric impact us, impact our colleagues, impact our families and impact our patients. We can see how the communities we serve have already started to be affected by this election.