Tag: death

Gabriel Davis Gabriel Davis (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine


Gabe is a first year medical student at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, New York. In 2017, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Gabe is interested in the power of narrative medicine and reflective writing for patients and providers, and in his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, poetry, playing basketball, and exploring the city. After he graduates medical school, Gabe hopes to pursue a residency in internal medicine and eventually become a clinical educator.




Stages of Grief

I had felt strange during the week leading up to the last ultrasound. Pregnancy is a roller coaster of sensations, but that week had been off a little. I barely noticed the ultrasound tech rubbing the cold, blue gel on my massive belly. I wanted to hear that sound: that quiet, pulsing sound of my baby racing to be born.

A Life in a Day

It can be difficult to fully appreciate the events that transpire on a busy transplant surgery service, and as a fledgling third year student on my first rotation, I’d often find myself in stimulus overload — like a five year old who stops to look at every flower on a walk with their parents.

My Grandpa’s Socks

Whenever I go to the hospital, I wear my grandpa’s socks. They looked distinguished on an older man, but a little childish on a me, a 25-year-old medical student. I’m okay with that. Feeling like an overdressed kid on Easter helps to balance the overwhelming pressure of becoming a physician.

On Doctors, Death and Dignity in Sharing Our Stories

We huddled around in a circle. Some rubbing our necks, some touching our wrists, and some listening with tears streaming down our faces. It was a room of physicians and physicians-in-training, listening as one resident shared her story of watching her patient pass away when she ran a code for the first time. At the conclusion of her story, physicians and students approached the resident with hugs and advice.

Don’t Judge a Bottle by Its Wrapper

“Ms. Mary is very excited to spend time with you,” the nurse said on my first day of hospice volunteering. From behind the nurse’s shoulder, I saw Ms. Mary rolling her power chair toward us, a toothless grin on her face. She looked up at me, her nasal cannula hissing with oxygen, and greeted me with her hoarse voice. I turned around to see that the nurse had dashed away, and left me alone to take care of Ms. Mary, who had heart failure, COPD, chronic pain and many other medical conditions.

Will

How can doctors-in-training learn to have hard discussions with their patients? Will, a fourth-year medical student intending to become an internist, recounts two formative patient encounters he had during his third year. In the first, he learned from an attending physician and a man dying from cancer the challenges of determining when it’s time to end treatment. In the second, he realized a non-English speaking patient did not understand that she had lupus, and thus took the initiative to more effectively translate to her what the condition meant.

When Medicine Makes ‘Miracles’

“He’s had enough, you don’t want to put him through any more.” Dr. Acharya’s soft jowls folded into a cool smile, as though he hadn’t thought of acids unfiltered by failing kidneys. I dug my fingernails into my palms. Glancing at the bed where my grandfather lay, I watched his bare, gray skin grip the scar that split his ribcage in two. Behind his parted eyelids were unfocused blue eyes, glazed with whitish film. He hardly knew we were there — hovering over him — deciding whether he would have a chance to live and suffer, or whether he would suffer and die.

Christy Duan Christy Duan (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Christy Duan is a fourth-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a future psychiatrist. She is an award-winning writer who has published in The Detroit Free Press, Quartz, KevinMD.com, Abaton, and Autostraddle. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics. Christy is passionate about social justice and global health. Her work has spanned from the Usambara mountain range of Tanzania to the sprawling metropolis of Hong Kong, and from community HIV interventions to data mining. Read more of her work at http://www.christyduan.com.