Tag Archives: Personal Narratives

Pink Skies

Gurbaksh Shergill Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Flint, MI (Fall 2017)   I stared silently out the window and took in my surroundings. The sun was slowly making its way into the sky, stretching as if waking up from a long slumber. The gold and pink tones of the sky were still hiding […]

Fifty years on an Englishman recalls Cook County Hospital

Simon Cohen University College London Hospitals (Fall 2017)   Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL In 1968 I was a senior registrar at a London teaching hospital. My ambition was to become a staff member at a major London institution and at that time one of the requirements was a qualification known as the BTA (Been […]

Metaphor, memory, and my grandmother’s hands

Gregory O’Gara New Jersey, US (Fall 2017)   Stir of Memories, 2017 Oil on canvas, private collection of Gregory O’Gara Sometimes when it rains, the droplets are barely perceptible. There is no fog or mist, no thunder, no presage. I sat outside looking upward. There was nothing discernable in the darkness of the sky except […]

In translation

Michelle M. Ponder Philadelphia, PA (Fall 2017)   Approaching the patient: the rescuer comes in front of the patient, introduces herself, and asks the patient to squeeze her hand, in case she would be too weak to speak. Rama, December 2004. In my first year of clinical rotation in medical school there was no service as […]

Phantom Pains

Daly Walker Boca Grande, Florida and Quechee, Vermont, United States (Fall, 2017)   Most memories pass on to oblivion without changing anything.  But some are so powerful they transform who you are.  They never leave you.  Without my memories of a girl named Jane, I would never have become the doctor I am. On a […]

The boy with two dads

David G. Thoele Chicago, Illinois, United States (Spring 2016)   Martin pictured with his two dads The first time I met Martin in my clinic, the 7-year-old seemed friendly, but shy.  He was a bit chubby, with dark, short-cropped hair, rounded fingernails, and blue-tinged skin. He was short for his age, with features of Down […]

Children do not die

Matko Marusic University of Split, Croatia (Winter 2014) Photography by S GLeisner Josip was just one of the boys who lived in our street, but to me he was and still is especially important. It was through him that I, for the first time, encountered an incurable disease; he was the first person I wanted […]