Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Impostor or Two Sides of the Same Coin?


“Eager and enthusiastic”
As I drag myself from bed.
“Positive energy”
Do you have an injury to your head?
“Great attitude, lots of interest”
Whatever you say,
“Will become an excellent house officer”
I only think, “No way.”

“Professional and helpful,”
I just smile and say hello,
“Natural rapport with patients,”
I just don’t think that’s so.
“Positive and pleasant,”
There’s that line again,
“Bright and motivated,”
What choice do I have, then?

It all just rings so hollow,
The sayings and the talk.
They say I am improving
But often do I balk.
I talk and write, assess and plan,
I’m told it’s often good.
So where is that accomplishment,
And feeling what I should?


Poetry Thursdays is a weekly newsletter that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. This initiative is led by Slavena Salve Nissan at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Slavena.


Charles Surette Charles Surette (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Boston University School of Medicine


Charles Surette is a fourth year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2016, he graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. He is passionate about storytelling as a means of exploring the experience of working in medicine. His other interests include food, theatre, travel and supporting all Boston sports teams. After medical school, Charles would like to pursue a career in psychiatry.