Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States (Winter 2013)
Poet’s statement: The poem is about my first experience with cadavers in the anatomy lab at medical school.
|The first cut
My first patient was an 88-year-old female
I was told I had consent to look.
Four of us huddled around her
We made a long incision down her front
In the abdomen, I cut too deep
I could not see her face
Cutting violently through her body
I had the urge to name and to know
My job was to turn her inside out
I chose doctoring to prevent these scenes.
But I had no skills, no knowledge, and no chance.
|Photography by the National Guard|
LISA FRIEDMAN is a graduate of Carleton College with a degree in American studies. She is currently in her second year of medical school at Case Western Reserve University, where she is also pursuing a master’s degree in bioethics. Her essay, “The Application Essay I Never Wrote” was recently published in The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine and her poem “Surgery” was published in the journal Hospital Drive.Follow Hektoen International via social media to see more featured content.