The gentle breeze of the summer evening embraces my hometown of Suwon, Korea. Holding my hand, my grandma takes small, deliberate steps forward. Two months into my fourth year of medical school, I am back home for a short break before beginning the residency application process.
As I step carefully into the sterile field / past the rows of scalpels, forceps and clamps, / I sense a gentle fluttering in my chest.
“I have good news for you,” my resident exclaimed as she walked into the exam room. She was holding the patient’s most recent vitals handed to her by a nurse practitioner.
With a growing interest in geriatrics, I began to wonder what resilience looks like for elderly patients, who unlike children, present their life trajectories to physicians much later. This is perhaps challenging and even uncomfortable to discuss for those who perceive resilience as a long-term goal — overcoming significant barriers in order to improve over time. Resilience may not seem as relevant for elderly patients who may be nearing the end of their lives.
This is a space / between you and me / where you can simply be