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An Apology

Jordan Grumet

I’m sorry, Mrs. Lewis, for not making it to the hospital to see you yesterday….

Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like I could never catch up. My wife was going downtown for work, and we had to get up early. While she prepared, I helped my two-year-old son get dressed. We walked my wife to the train, then waited for the nanny. She was running late: I finally made

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Past Medical History

Donald Stewart

My career in medicine began when I was three years old.
Holding tightly to my father’s hand at the end of a dark hospital corridor, I couldn’t keep up with the heavy, sibilant stream of conversation flowing between Daddy and Dr. Mashburn, the man who had delivered me, who had sewn up my chin after I’d slipped in the bathtub a month before and who was now explaining the details of Mommy’s condition.

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Life of the Party

Veneta Masson

By ones and twos
we drift up to the bedroom–
the women of the family–
leaving the men to mutter
and churn downstairs.
This is women’s work,
choosing a burial outfit.
We have a list from the mortuary:
bring underthings
no shoes

Soberly we peer into the closet
slide open drawers
touch, handle, inhale.
Ah, I was with her when she bought this…
Remember the time?
What about a hat?
Oh yes, she

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Jordan Grumet

I was a third-year medical student in the first week of my obstetrics rotation. The obstetrics program was known to be high-pressure, its residents among the best. Mostly women, they were a hard-core group–smart, efficient, motivated–and they scared the heck out of us medical students.

I remember the day clearly: Not only was I on call, but I was assigned to the chief resident’s team. I felt petrified. 

We’d started morning rounds as

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First Patient

It was a quiet knock on my door that morning. So quiet, in fact, that I wondered if I was dreaming. Maybe if I went back to sleep it would go away.

Nope. There it was again: soft but persistent. This time I knew that it really was a knock, and it really was on the front door of my one-room cabin. What I didn’t know was that I’d be hearing that knock for the

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