I was assigned to complete my family medicine clerkship at Sanitas Medical Center, a primary and urgent care site in Miami, Florida that serves a large and diverse population. Most patients are elderly, Spanish speaking immigrants from Latin American countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia.
She had her head bowed over her sleeping newborn, and her perfect plaits of braids were blanketing her shoulders, cascading calmly despite the insurmountable turmoil clearly manifesting on her face.
Physicians give their heart and soul to the practice of medicine. Caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments is a heavy responsibility and privilege that medical professionals must carry.
Bright Light Therapy (BLT) has efficacy in treating mild-to-moderate SAD. A meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials found that BLT was effective at treating symptoms of SAD with an effect size of 0.84, which are comparable to the benefits of antidepressants.
My health deteriorated as I started my second year in medical school. I suffered from intense nausea and abdominal pain, only getting four or five consistent hours of sleep per day. These health issues had started and worsened during the second year, eventually culminating in an emergency cholecystectomy.
“You know, not all of us can be small,” the patient, a well-appearing woman in moderate anxious distress, said as she motioned with her hands and rolled her eyes towards me. “It’s disgusting,” she added.
Third-year rotations forced me to reckon with my emotional capacity as a human and future physician. With each patient encounter, I had to decide whether my skin was too thick or too thin.
Ruchica Chandnani, Class of 2024 at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, contributes this poem as an in-Training writer and current managing editor of the publication since 2021.
The dispatcher called in to the emergency department to alert us that someone had collapsed in the parking lot of the hospital. The emergency medical services swiftly brought the patient in and our team surrounded him, placing lines and drawing blood. In the midst of treating him, I learned that Jones had just been released from prison where he had remained sober after years of heroin abuse.
At the start of my psychiatry rotation, I was most apprehensive about performing the “bread and butter” exam of the specialty: the psychiatric interview. I was not afraid of forgetting which questions to ask, but rather how to ask said questions.
“This one is a handful. She brought a long list, too, so good luck with that,” the nurse said as she handed me the patient prep sheet. This was a new patient to the family medicine practice. I was seeing her near the end of a long day, so I took a deep breath to reset my mind as I entered the exam room, prepared to listen.
My relaxed reveal / faked a fool / while tanking time / with failing fuel.