“Goddamn doctors,” says a voice down the hall, slightly muffled through the curtain of the exam room where I lay. “What now?” comes another voice and they both grow louder, batting back and forth gripes. “They make the worst damn patients, know exactly what’s wrong with them and exactly what to do and you’re not doing it quick enough.”
Several months ago, I was asked by an attending about my future plans. “So I can pimp you,” he said. I told him that I am pursuing further training in addiction medicine. “Isn’t that just for psychiatrists?”
“You need to just take care of yourself” — a phrase I’ve heard often over the past few years. What does this even mean? I thought it was silly and laughable.
Lunch hour on a Thursday
in the skies above
Prior to starting medical school, I meditated for an hour every morning. There is a Zen proverb that goes something like this: “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour everyday, you should meditate for two hours.”
It’s been about three years since Jacob committed suicide. In the high turnover microcosm of general surgery residency, there aren’t many who remember him.
Medical alert, paged — STAT to Bed 3 / The nurse comes a runnin’ — we need an MD!
A haiku about screening for colon cancer.
When do-sed dram or weigh-ted dusts / no remedy impart
How do you enjoy that / Which will be gone — sooner than someday?
“Compassion” / A pale moon hangs above / The workroom clock reads six, but / Is it day or night?
His mother asks whether or not there will be a scar. I tell her yes. We’ll do our best to make it small, but there will be a scar.