Honoring Creative Writing in Medicine
Beginning in 2020, a generous endowment was provided to encourage employees and students to explore creative writing as a way to experience life, communicate with patients and alleviate work-related stress. The Drs. Paulette and Jay Mehta Award in Creative Writing was born from the idea that the creative arts can help health care providers process their experiences and express their artful insight through poetry and narrative. On May 25, 2022, an in-person awards ceremony was held to honor the three winners and the honorable mentions of the second annual Mehta Awards. Read the article about the awards on the UAMS News website.
This is the second year for these awards, made possible by the generosity of the Mehtas and their love of the arts. These awards speak to their belief in the ability of creativity and the arts to nourish our spirit, to cultivate lifelong learning, and to guide us to becoming better health care providers.
Why Do Doctors Write?
Why do doctors write? There are probably as many reasons as there are doctor-writers.
I don’t know what to say. He stares deeper into my eyes before I can divert them away. I am paralyzed. Can he see it on my face? Is it that obvious?
Dementia was irreversible. That’s what the doctor said, but she didn’t need to tell Francis that. Francis knew that when the mind rolled downhill there was nobody to push it back up again.
Life Outside the Cell
Down to the cellular properties of summer,
light is absorbed and fuels our mother Earth
and what’s left over is what we call color.
Sometimes, I wander around the house aimlessly.
I feel lost. As though I’m forgetting something. Searching.
My heart knows it’s you.
Honoring a patient’s wishes
Leaves a family haunted
With more questions than answers
The Last Days of Silky Wooten
A preacher once said Dave Wooten was smooth as silk. He could talk you into anything, including, one time—to that preacher’s embarrassment—a lemon of a 1964 Ford. It was something about his smile. Or his eyes. I don’t know, really, but when Silky looked at you, you felt seen.
On Maintaining Humanity in Medicine
At the end of medical school, I found myself seemingly on top of the world. I had just received my medical degree from one of the best medical schools in the country, and was well on my way to becoming a first-rate surgeon. However, beginning intern year became, in a word, a fall from grace.