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Every Friday...the personal story of health care, told by and for everyone. An essential narrative medicine resource. On this page--our current and most recent offerings.


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Short pieces on a new theme every month
This month...
  Health Care on the Line


Kenneth P. Gurney

The helmet-less skateboarder
with his head split open
never checked his rearview
for the one-in-a-million chance
gaining on him and all of his 
experience through
six-hundred-thousand plus
ollies, railslides, and mctwists
makes no real difference
as the EMT scribbles the words

organ donor 

on some official looking form
before the ambulance zooms off
toward the hospital.

About the poet:

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM. His poetry appears mostly on the web, as he prefers to spend SASE and reading-fee monies on pumpkin spice cookies for his Dianne. His latest book is An Accident Practiced: Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney. To learn more about Kenneth, visit www.kpgurney.me/Poet/Welcome.html

About the poem:

"I witnessed the ambulance arrive and went over to find out what was going on. The kid with his head split open lay on the sidewalk. He was a skateboarder of skill, according to his frightened friends. I made up the part about the EMT scribbling 'organ donor,' but I had heard ER nurses comment that bicyclists and skateboarders who do not wear helmets are 'future organ donors.' The poem's title reflects that the law of averages catch up to even the best of us."

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro

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Pulse: Editors' Picks


a vibrant anthology of stories and poems


Foreword by Perri Klass MD and Sketches by Alan Blum MD


"Pulse is that rare confluence of the best of medicine and modern life...This anthology is a total pleasure." Louise Aronson MD


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