Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities


Charles Halsted
Davis, California, United States


Formed and found in the human soul lies the wellspring of compassion.
Seeing yourself in the other, the other in yourself is the essence of compassion.

Selfless caring without condition for the unfortunate ones without voice,
feeling the pain of another, accepting without judgment is compassion.

Caring for someone in need or in trouble, putting yourself in another’s shoes,
accepting and forgiving without condition is the essence of compassion.

When I became a doctor, my physician father passed on to me the teachings of
his medical school mentor, Doctor Francis Peabody: “The secret of the care of
the patient lies in caring for the patient.”


The Doctor. Painting by Sir Luke Fildes, 1894. Location: Tate Gallery, London. CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)



CHARLES H. HALSTED, MD, is a retired academic physician. He received his medical education at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, followed by internship and residency at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and specialty training in gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Subsequently, he practiced medicine at Baltimore City Hospital and the University of California Davis. Following his retirement in 2015, he embarked on a new career in poetry. To date, he has published one chapbook, Breaking Eighty, and two poetry books, Extenuating Circumstances and On Razor-Thin Tires.


Winter 2021   |   Sections  |  Poetry

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