laughter po prn

Slavena Salve Nissan ~

if you happened to pass by room 2
in a medical practice somewhere uptown
some time in the spring
you would’ve heard
a medical student and her patient
giggling like toddlers
right in the middle of the cranial nerve exam
what a thing to hear

if only i could write that prescription
laughter po prn
no copay required

Editor’s note: The term po stands for the Latin phrase per os, used in prescriptions to describe a treatment taken orally; prn stands for pro re nata, “as needed.”

About the poet:

Slavena Salve Nissan is an aspiring physician-writer and a third-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. She was introduced to poetry as a second grader, and it was love at first sight. Her poetry has appeared in in-Training and Hektoen International.

About the poem:

“When I was a first-year student, I worked with a wonderful patient whom I got to know over the course of several months. We always laughed a lot together, and he taught me a number of lessons about the foundations of empathic clinical care.”

Poetry editors:

Johanna Shapiro and Judy Schaefer

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8 thoughts on “laughter po prn”

  1. Laughter is so healing. It helps us get through the best of times and the worst of times, as a great writer has said.

  2. Janice Mancuso

    Perfect selection for the first weekend of spring…

    Slavena, I visited In-Training and stayed for a long while. Very impressive. PS Your smile is so warm. I just read the poem again and could easily envision you ‘giggling’.

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