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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 [1] and Hektoen International [2].

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