Tag Archives: Doctors Patients and Diseases

Decoding doctor-speak in the era of OpenNotes

Jennifer Wineke Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Modern-day doctors share a common dilemma: how do you get all of the necessary information into the electronic medical record while still being present with the patient? Every doctor I have talked to approaches this challenge a little differently. Some acknowledge the impersonality upfront and apologize to the […]

Not by blood

Simon Edber Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (Spring 2018)     Child Seated on a Sofa (1883) by Mary Cassatt National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection Raven knows exactly how she joined the family: “She didn’t want me so she took me to the hospital, and then you came and bought me from the hospital.” […]

Aspects of distancing

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece (Spring 2018)   Corfu Island, Greece. Author Photo. I will call him Bill. We had been unaware of each other’s existence until we first met as elected members of a professional committee in our local medical association. In this capacity we had been working together for several years, convening every two or […]

Uncertainty and clinical truths

Anjan Banerjee Cambridgeshire, UK (Fall 2017)   “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability” (William Osler)   Monday 15:35 pm Franciso Goya. Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta, 1820. The ninety-eight year old patient with piercing blue eyes and a quizzical expression sat in her wheelchair in the colorectal clinic. We sat facing […]

Beyond medicine

Jessica A. Tang Chicago, Illinois, United States (Spring 2017)   Surgeons in action I remember staring intently at the doctor as he presented two options: surgery or do nothing. Surgery could not promise drastic improvement and even came with the risk of paralysis or death. Doing nothing meant an ominous future of moving onward until […]

Scarification: harmful cultural practice or vehicle to higher being?

Kenneth Michael Felsenstein National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States (Winter 2014) Scarification is the act of “covering, disguising and transforming the body”1 by creating wounds in one’s own flesh in order to cause indelible markings. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood body modification procedures done today, largely perceived in Western society as a […]

Healing through laughter

Farrah Bui Princeton University, New Jersey, United States (Winter 2014) Laughing boy, c. 1625 Frans Hals Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague “If there is one thing to know about me, it’s that I refuse to ever eat honey again,” Ben explains to the audience. Immediately, looks of confusion and raised eyebrows appear among the […]

The thickening of blood

Nod Ghosh Christchurch, New Zealand (Fall 2016)   It begins when you are a child, in the pre-antibiotic dawn of an Indian summer, one of six siblings, five of whom will eventually die of broken heart valves or diabetes. But let us say for now, you are a child, a child who loves to dance, […]