Tag Archives: Doctors Patients and Diseases

Words

Riley Scherr Irvine, California, United States   “Words.” Photo by Diana Luque on Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Patients in the lobby think I speak Spanish very well. Although I momentarily feel validated, those compliments would mean more if I did not know I was repeating the same conversation cyclically, drawing from a carefully prepared arsenal […]

The man shackled on 4 Northwest

Andria Albert Tucson, Arizona, United States   Photo by Nikon Corporation on Unsplash. In one of the patient rooms tucked into the Northwest (NW) wing of the fourth floor of the hospital, there lay a particular man. Upon walking into his room, you would find nothing extraordinary about him. He is young, early thirties, with […]

White Australia: How white healthcare has affected Indigenous Australians

Brittany Suann Western Australia   Rural Australia. Photo by author. Australian healthcare is among the best, and Australia boasts the eighth lowest mortality rates in the world.1 For Indigenous Australians, however, health outcomes are 2.3 times worse than for non-Indigenous Australians.1 This gap is stark and is evident in mortality rates, the life expectancy at […]

Compassion in the emergency room

Raymond Bellis Stony Brook, New York, United States     Photo by JacksonDavid on Pixabay. Yet another shift in the Emergency Department—between the frenzied rush of staff, the constant pinging of monitors, and the chaotic overhead announcements, I didn’t find the environment particularly conducive to healing. But as a dedicated student in my third year […]

Once a professor…

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   “Good morning, Professor.” Lake Kremasta, Greece. Photo by author. The elderly man I address by this title lies in bed, visibly weak and rather exhausted, a clean white sheet drawn up to his neck. He has been in the hospital for several days now, and the forced immobility has added […]

On becoming a disabled physician

Mel Ebeling Birmingham, Alabama, United States   Hephaestus at the Forge. Sculpture by Guillaume Coustou the Younger, 1742. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen (Jastrow) on Wikimedia. Public domain. The same prominent scar blemishes each foot: beginning two inches below my big toe, it slithers along the medial aspect of my foot, making […]

Questioning immunology and the soul

Vani Ghai Pune, India   Healing ulcers on the lower leg. The ulceration may have been due to varicose veins. Watercolor drawing by S. A. Sewell. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. The long and tiring battle with COVID has stimulated modern medicine to investigate new approaches to understanding the science of immunity. It has long […]

Patients without borders: Cardiac surgery, activism, and advocacy

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   “Inspired by the media on the Dutch Heart Patient Organization” by Yasmine Hilhorst. In the 1970s, a “patients without borders” organization made it possible for people with severe heart disease to be flown to other countries for treatment that was unavailable in their home country. It was a decade after […]

Herbert William Page and the railway spine controversy

Jonathan Davidson Durham, North Carolina, United States   Figure 1. Herbert William Page. Archives of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The first passenger railway journey resulted in the death of a prominent British politician.1 During the 1830s and 1840s,2 railway travel became a popular means of transport in Victorian Britain. By the 1850s, […]

Medicine’s pandemonium of paradoxes

Fergus Shanahan Dublin, Ireland “Paradox of Medical Progress” graph by author.   “You live and breathe paradox and contradiction, but you can no more see the beauty of them than the fish can see the beauty of the water.” – Michael Frayn (Bohr to Heisenberg), Copenhagen1   The language of medicine is loaded with misnomers, […]