Syed M. Ahmed ~
Twenty-five years ago, having completed my family-medicine residency, I left Houston to start a two-year stint practicing in a remote village of fewer than 2,000 souls in the Appalachian Mountains of Ohio.
The day I arrived at my new workplace (a two-person practice in the only clinic for fifty miles), my new colleague Dr. Jones told me that she was leaving the next day on a two-week vacation.
Hearing this, I felt anxious, to say the least. I'd expected her to take time off, but so soon? Also, not only were this Appalachian town and its folks completely unknown to me, and vice-versa, but I was the first Asian physician to come to those parts.
Scott Janssen ~
"You need to get here now!" The nurse whispers anxiously. It's after midnight. One of our hospice patients has just died at home, and her husband is threatening to shoot himself when the funeral home shows up.
"Has the funeral home been called?" I ask.
"Does he have a gun or weapon?"
"We're out in the country. There are deer heads on the wall."
I try not to stereotype, but deer heads are a giveaway. There are probably lots of guns.
Allie Gips ~
Winter in New England and
night replaces afternoon, darkness wraps the streets while we are all still inside.
There are no windows in the Emergency Department anyway
except of course the window into this city--the stream of women with bruised arms
and orbits that they will not explain, the revolving door of opiate addicts
nodding off, crying out, praying for forgiveness, the chronic-pain patients who rip
apart all of your idealism and ambition, trade it in for a one-time hit of oxy.