Mrs. Hernandez is a ninety-two-year-old Spanish-speaking woman, originally from Mexico, with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, who arrived in the emergency department of the hospital where I’m a fourth-year medical student.
Her right arm and leg were weak, the right side of her face drooped; her speech was slurred, and she seemed confused. Her CT scans showed that a blood clot had blocked her middle cerebral artery, in the area of the brain
2. History of postpartum psychosis
3. No custody of her children
4. In treatment for cocaine abuse
5. Regular smoker
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.
Jan Jahner ~
They came up from the center of the earth, The People
where sky speaks to corn,
speaks to cottonwoods, to runoff in the wash.
Living beneath black-slashed canyon walls
home to sheep and weavers.
He is one of them, my patient
one of the ancients; leathery face carved and quiet
she is his daughter, fingers on the covers,
ready should he wake.
By the time Mrs. Zhang came to see me, her headache, left-sided weakness and facial numbness were two weeks old. Like many Chinese immigrants in this country, she’d hesitated to seek medical care because of language and cultural barriers and her apprehensiveness about Western medicine. In fact, she hadn’t seen a physician in the ten years since she and her husband had come to America. Only after a friend told her about me,