Dying is not / as romantic as I once thought. / I think you always knew this.
Mr. G was a patient I met while on the surgical oncology service. He was in his early 50s, a loving husband and the father of two children. He was the middle sibling with two brothers. He also battled metastatic cancer.
My mother likes to tell the story of how, as a small child, I referred to the superficial wounds sustained in my first head-over-handlebars accident as an “abrasion.” I remember staring at my knee, fascinated by my body’s ability to heal itself. The sacred anatomy of wounds, atoms as spacious as galaxies, coalescing and woven with no instruction of my own to renew what had been lost.
Should the symbol of medicine bear one snake or two? / If you answered two, then the joke is on you! / Or, at least, that’s the current popular view.
I imagine her mother / Squeezing daughter’s limp hand / Silent tears
Anatomy is more than flesh and bone and blood. / It’s more than the donor and the scalpel teaching the student.
good morning, i’m the medical student / i must ask how you are feeling / even though my eyes already sting
A fog of emotions blankets the waiting room:
Stress and anxiety, with some impending doom.
Logan’s healing was in his death. Mine was in a game of Monopoly.
If someone asks me how my first year of medical school went, half of the time I dismiss them with a one-word answer, saving them from a conversation they aren’t ready to have. The other half of the time, I tell the truth, just to see what they have to say.
Over the next few days, workup revealed she was experiencing paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, a manifestation of her occult cancer. In a matter of three days, a patient who had come in for seemingly benign constipation was told she had metastatic lung cancer.
After our first week on clinical rotations, my third-year medical student colleagues laughed about the silly and awkward things that made their first days hard. Someone was shunned for bumping into the sterile field during their first operation. Someone else couldn’t figure out the scrub machines and was stuck mismatching for the day.