Tag: empathy

Basic Training

George Kamajian as told by Bob Fedor ~

I’m an old family doctor. Seen much and forgot more. Life has taught me that we touch our patient’s lives for a moment, a season or a reason–and sometimes with unforeseen consequences.

I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1968, when I was nineteen, the Tet Offensive in Vietnam caught the American military off-guard, and the Pentagon began frantically drafting new troops.

My

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Cry for a Stranger

I cried for a stranger today.

Her sister sat expressionless next to her lifeless body, and when I walked into the room, she began crying.

My tears swell. I tell her how sorry I am, and how brave she was. She tells me that her sister died “so quickly and peacefully” and that “it was her time to go.” I am grateful she surrendered to the inevitable.

I leave to complete

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Hearing Voices

Robert Burns

“She’s been hearing voices,” says Adala’s nephew Diri. “She hears them every night.”

The three of us sit in an examination room of my private geriatrics practice. I’ve been in a community-based practice in Memphis, Tennessee, for nearly twenty years.

Adala is a tall, slender woman. Dressed in a gray-blue guntiino, a long piece of cloth tied over the shoulder and draped around the waist, she has her head covered

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Heart and Soul

Fredy El Sakr

“Help!” I yelled out of our open apartment door.

I was seven years old, and my family had recently emigrated from Egypt to the US. We’d been feeling elated that week because, after months of interviews, my father had matched into a pediatric residency.

That morning he’d awakened feeling nauseated. My mother and sister went to buy some soothing food. I noticed that he’d vomited in the bathroom; now he

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Learning to Trust

 
I admitted Hiral Jacobs, a twenty-something college student who’d collapsed in her dorm, directly to the ICU from surgery.

The OR report said she’d received two units of blood and was still intubated. Given my forty years of ICU nursing, it sounded routine.

“By the way, the patient is Muslim.”
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Just This Once

Majid Khan

It’s a rainy Thursday evening in our small inner-city practice. Today is the receptionist’s birthday, and I’ve been cordially invited to attend a small party prepared by her coworkers.

As I descend the green carpeted steps to the lounge, my aching muscles remind me about the torture session (otherwise known as “boxercise”) that I attended last night

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