Listen to the track “PGY3” by Dr. Roy Souaid and his band “John Lebanon.” The song started in New Orleans during the American College of Physicians National Conference in May 2018 and has been a yearlong project inspired by street buskers, hospital sounds and jazz. It captures the medical resident’s work flow and is set in the medical intensive care unit at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
At first, my heart pauses: frozen from shock. / But, within a few seconds, I start to take stock.
A smear of what I assumed was cat poop obstructed a narrow asphalt path that led to a mobile home. It was raining. I tiptoed around the sopping heap of excrement. Behind me, the wound care attending physician followed.
I remember feeling resentful that he seemed too healthy to have come to the ER in the first place, while I, on the other hand, was shuffling around as if walking ankle-deep in wet cement, dead tired and longing to stretch out on the gurney in the adjoining cubicle.
I did not stay down / I did not give up
my patient does not have insurance / he asks me to address his concerns
Illness lies hidden in our ways / Influenced by the unconscious gaze.
I love working as a resident physician, but truly detest taking exams. However, life seems to only give you more of what you fear, so I recently found myself responsible for my residency program’s weekly clinical grand rounds.
Scared and frightened, we came in as interns / We had the knowledge, but we needed direction
Like most times on call, the day had been busy. / I’d been running in circles, my head in a tizzy.
I used to joke that after having my twin girls, my breasts no longer belonged to me. / Forget about possession, let’s talk about existence.
I waited for nine months to meet you. / I know that one night I loved a woman and then you, a blackberry of cells, found your place in her fertile garden and you grew there