The waves beat; / a cold, relentless torrent. / You stand against them / taking the impact
The unexpected suicide of a graduate of our surgical residency program — nearly seven years ago — still reverberates off the walls of Stanford Hospital. While he didn’t end his life on the premises (that happened during fellowship in another city), the effects of his tragic death subdue the residency to this day
Humor… / it’s what saves me / keeps me from dying inside
“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.”
“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.