This month, at medical schools across the country, first-year students will officially don the physician’s traditional white coat for the first time.
My first day on the wards,
the senior resident handed me a white coat
emblazoned with the twin serpents of Asclepius,
and a stethoscope I proudly draped around my neck.
I thought I knew everything
about the dying patient assigned to me.
I listened studiously to John Doe’s lungs
filling rhythmically from a little machine
with a red diaphragm that pumped up and down
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
Amulya Iyer ~
they teach us
the types of diuretics,
their effects on the tubules–
convoluted or not.
They tell us to check
for pitting edema,
and grade it to see
how bad it has gotten.
But who teaches
to kneel by the woman,
her legs swollen,
her heart failing in her chest–
to slip off
Tess Timmes ~
“Please walk slowly,” cautioned Sunita, my interpreter, as I crept down the stony switchback trail towards the rural Nepali village of Dhulikhel. Sunita, in her petite navy ballet flats, hopped down the rocks as easily as the speckled goats grazing nearby.
Emboldened by her speed, I stepped along eagerly, only to catch my size-ten neon running sneaker on a root and splat face-first into the dust. Looking up, I saw
“We have explored the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity. It is now time to move onto the extremities, starting with the arms. I want you to unwrap the arms and study
Sara H. Rahman
“Mr. Douglas?” I call out into the waiting room. A short, grey-haired man in his sixties staggers towards me, bracing his back with his hands. Despite his pain, he gives me a warm smile, which I return.
As I help him onto the exam-room table, he winces, squeezing my hand.
“I’m a medical student,” I begin. “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to examine you before Dr. Smith sees
I did make that first cut and many more afterward. I didn’t pass out, and eventually my heart stopped pounding when I picked up the scalpel. As time went on, we learned an impossible amount about the way
At 5:07 pm on July 27 of last year, my pager’s beep pierced the bustle of the hospital hallway: “CARDIAC ARREST, 6GS room 356 bed 2. Need cards STAT.”
It was only seven minutes into my first overnight call as a cardiology (“cards”) fellow, and I felt like I’d received a code-dose shot of epinephrine. In a most un-doctorly manner, I sprinted up the four flights of stairs to the ward.