The below poem was written during a weekend away in Indianapolis. I watched an apparently homeless older gentleman sitting outside a coffee shop for several minutes while I read. It was a generous reminder that our patients should be seen in their environment and not only in our own, with fluorescent lights and temperature control. We all have different backgrounds and life circumstances and drastically effect our behaviors and choices.
A specialty known for its brevity, emergency medicine can be appropriately summed up in haiku form. This is a collection of haikus about life in the emergency department.
While there is always an intrinsic desire to root for patient recovery and ultimate survival, I struggled immensely with the decision to pursue invasive measures. This is a poem that helped depict my feelings for this patient encounter.