“Help! Help! Help!” The repeated cries carried down the hospital corridor as I quickened my pace.
I turned a corner and the yelling stopped. There was my mother lying in a bed, flanked by two nurses failing in their effort to remove her IV line.
Resist, in the Name of God
Her voice was loud and insistent: “Michael, get up! GET UP! Open your eyes and GET UP! GET UP NOW, Michael. I COMMAND YOU, in the name of God, GET UP!”
Empathy and Real People
I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t have any answers. That’s not what this is going to be, although I wish it was.
COVID: Remembering the Early Days
It’s easy to forget what those first months were like. I drove to work on the Southeast Expressway; a highway once clogged with rush hour traffic was near empty. COVID followed everyone everywhere – TV, radio, print media, the Internet, signs on doors to any stores still open.
The Meaning of Perseverance
Before I began medical school one of my mentors told me, “You do not have to be the smartest to make it. You just have to persevere.”
Most people know the word “adrenaline” better than the word “epinephrine,” but the substance is one and the same.
“Hello?” I said.
“Hey, guess what!” my wife shouted through the telephone.
A Letter to the Lonely Medical Student
I am living the dream that my five-year-old self couldn’t even fully imagine, yet some days, actually a lot of days, the dream and idea of being a doctor one day is the only thing that keeps me going. This is lonely. This is hard.
Black and White
She began to wheel me through the door and offer encouraging words of farewell when she suddenly stopped. “Wait a minute,” she said. “That’s not him.” She promptly spun me around and headed back into the building.
Who Am I?
A positive diagnosis of HIV and I’m stripped of my identity. I’m no longer a person but a case, a number to be polled or studied, tracked by a system that doesn’t always have my back – a system that speaks of double standards and hypocrisy. If called to question we will look over your rights […]
As the elevator doors opened, we barely noticed the huge letters that read CANCER SERVICES. A long day had already followed a long sleepless night.
You Will Know This As Love
Sometimes things happen at just the right time. Serendipity? A blessing? It doesn’t matter what we call it.
One Breath At a Time
The phone trembled against my ear. “Can’t breathe…can’t breathe…water…need water.”
How Many People Does It Take to Get a Crazy Old Man a Glass of Water So He Can Pee?
My father just threatened another resident – “I’ll kill you!” – during dinner at his retirement community, the assistant director tells me on the phone. He must get checked tonight at the emergency room for a urinary tract infection, which can cause erratic behavior, she says.
A Life Struggled Well
Everybody has one. Everybody has their person. The one who was “the reason for going into it.” Who knows how many different names show up in each medical school application? Clarke Wesley Johnson. Not born to but adopted by Hans and Judy Johnson; the first boy of the family. He had darker skin than the rest of the household and a large scar from the top of his chest to his belly button.
Oh COVID-19 , why don’t you just go away!
Well, it has been since January 2020 that we have been talking about COVID-19. It was December 2019 when first cases of infection were described in China, or maybe when the first case appeared in these United States on the West Coast. The disease or the pandemic as it is called now has affected several […]
A month after I retired from the University of Florida in 2007, two letters came in the mail from England: my birth certificate (February 23, 1942), replacing the one I’d lost somewhere on my travels, and my final pension award from Newcastle-on-Tyne. Newcastle is not only home to the British Pension Office but also the city of my father’s recent death. This full life cycle, tucked into two envelopes resting one on the other in my mailbox, sent me off on a journey of reminiscence.
White Coats and Blue Collars
It was during this time – elementary school and high school – that I vacillated in my dreams of a chosen profession. I wanted to be either a doctor or a writer.
On Ethics and Authenticity in the Practice of Medicine
As I am able, I strive to be informed about weighty matters that influence my daily interactions with patients.
A Life of Faith: Sister Marietta Fecteau
No one knows how long the tattered box lay by the side of the road. Maybe a week passed before a curious traveler stopped to peel back the tape and take a peek inside.
A Seemingly Simple Smile
On a beautiful Friday morning in the spring of 2020, Mr. B awaited his first dose of pembrolizumab in the chemotherapy infusion room. By this time he wrestled with cancer for about three years and underwent several lines of treatment, yet he was so resilient that that he continued weight training at home. He said, “It was still worth a try, if this could buy me some more time with my family.”
When God Speaks to Me
Look at the flowers. View the beauty in the chaos. All the different flowers, grasses, and entanglements of green.
East and West – Cultural Contrasts in Social Interacting and Physical Distancing
Before I moved to the United States from India almost two decades ago, my usual way to greet people was namaste — a Sanskrit word referring to a gesture widely used throughout the Indian subcontinent as a respectful form of greeting, acknowledging, and welcoming a relative, a guest, or stranger.
My First Patient
Do you remember your first patient in your chosen specialty, or what was to be your chosen specialty?
A Novel Fight: The Global War on the novo-coronavirus, COVID-19
World War III: a fight we never hoped to see, nor imagined would have come in form of a microscopic particle.
Puffy Girl Problems
Lights, bright lights, blurry lights, headlights, flashing ambulance lights, EMT flashlights, fluorescent hospital lights. That’s probably some of the only things I actually can recall about that night.
George Macready and the Art of Family Medicine Publications
I’m not a medical doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. My background is in education and journalism, and I came to work in a Family Medicine residency program long after I diagnosed myself as having a serious case of classic film passion.
The Shoes Have Eyes
Her eyes, still fixed on her Converse, began to well up with tears. One escaped and traced an uneven river down her face. She did not move to brush it away.
The Revolution in Neuroscience
…neuroscientists feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of their own literature, but also the sheer number of “breakthroughs” published adds to the inordinate weight of the competition. We should remember that most theories are actually proven wrong, and that is “business as usual” in science.
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, perhaps the most honored and well-known Latin American novelist of the modern age was born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1927. These origins identify him in Colombia as a “Costeño,” a native of the Caribbean coastal region of the country known for its color, vibrancy, and the rhythm of its music and language, contrary to the dreary, wet, mountainous interior where the capital city of Bogota is located.