Tag Archives: Winter 2011

Morning note

Jeanne Bryner Warren, Ohio, USA Poet’s statement: “Morning note” was a response to finding my husband’s note. Couples who have come through this type of grief know its depth. There are many gravesites on our journey. Names we dare not speak burn themselves inside our hearts.   Morning note In a few moments I’ll let […]

Prayer for my Village – When a Friend Asks Me What It’s Like to See Someone Die

Jeanne Bryner Warren, Ohio, USA   Poet’s statement: Both of these poems were written while I was at Vermont Studio Center on an international fellowship. Artists from all disciplines, states, and nations ate together, worked in their studios, presented slides, and gave readings of works-in-progress. It was precious. And I thought, why must we have […]

Those eyes

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia   Publication Acknowledgement: This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005). I’ve always involved myself in the lives of my patients and their families. Familiarity with context helps me to provide better treatment and nourishes such mental […]

The doctor in literature: the abortion and the abortionist

Solomon Posen Sydney, Australia “I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art.”1 “It’s an awfully simple operation.”2   The Doctor and His Patient By Jan Steen, Dutch (1626-1679) Oil on canvas, 76 x 64 cm Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The […]

Hooked

Emily Gregory-Roberts Sydney, Australia   The list on the Emergency Department computer screen displayed that the first patient waiting was Gavin Hunt with an anal abscess. The second on the list was Holly Bester with a vaginal abscess. The resident saw me eyeing the list and smiled his crooked smile. “They’re a couple,” he said. […]

Portrait of nursing

Lynda Slimmer University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, United States (Winter 2011) Sunday Treat by Robert Hayes   Using your mind’s eye, imagine a painting that my husband and I bought several years ago in the Smokey Mountains. An old-fashioned, wooden, crank-type ice cream maker rests in the foreground surrounded by heaps of fresh red strawberries […]

The doctor’s revenge in Jules Verne’s Mathias Sandorf

Mathias Sandorf Illustrated by Léon Benett Dr. Antekirtt is immensely clever and immensely rich. He owns an island off the coast of Libya and has surrounded it with tall ramparts to make it impregnable. He employs a large retinue of attendants and has agents and spies in many countries. His fast electric ships crisscross the […]

Dreams of healing

Rev. Kari Lindholm-Johnson Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, United States (Winter 2011) As a chaplain at Swedish Covenant Hospital, I am continually humbled in experiencing the force of people’s desire for healing. Patients willingly subject themselves to rigorous treatments in the pursuit of life, entrusting themselves to healthcare workers. This strong yearning for healing was […]

Caduceus versus the Staff of Asclepius

 Portrait of an Elderly Physician Gaspare Pagani Philadelphia Museum of Art This painting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art is attributed to Gaspare Pagani, a relatively obscure sixteenth century artist from Modena, Italy, the world capital of balsamic vinegar. It shows an elderly man carrying a staff with two serpents coiled around it, serving to […]

The Veteran’s Hospital

Helen Montague Foster, MD Richmond, Virginia, USA Poet’s statement: Before I went to medical school, I followed doctor’s orders to hold my toddler son down and force on him more eye-drops than he needed to dilate his pupils. He panicked, and the atropine drops made him hallucinate. The incident I describe in my poem “The […]