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Behind Closed Doors

Sophia Lee Ryan

I’d prepared as much as I could: I had a huge coffee, a water and every kind of snack imaginable stuffed into my bag. In my head I carried as much information about dilation and curettage as I’d been able to absorb during a study session at Starbucks the night before.

I was a third-year medical student doing my obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, and I was about to spend

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Broken

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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Babel: The Voices of a Medical Trauma

Tricia Pil

 Editor’s Note: This week, on the eve of Pulse‘s second anniversary, we offer a remarkable piece. It is the true story of a hospitalization as told from three points of view: first, the recollections of the patient (who happens to be a physician); second, events as recorded in the medical charts by doctors and nurses; and third, the

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Babies

She tells me she wants to have a baby,

my daughter who was my baby
so many years ago.

Everything comes back to me–
the waiting, the wanting, the whisking
off to baby-earth, that angelic place,
passing through life
with its normal sounds, smells, and sights,
into the realm of women’s starlight, bright
as Polaris, a celestial universe of power,
revolving so far away

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Counting Cards

Alexandra Godfrey

Once again, I see a still heart. As I stare at the fetal monitor, I search for signs of life. The screen flickers; my son’s heart does not.

The last time I saw him, he looked happy–content in his life-bubble. As he turned somersaults, he waved at me. I had thought he was saying hello, but I realize now that he was waving goodbye.

Soon I must deliver his still form into the

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