Tag Archives: DPD

Young, pretty, and not quite right

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Unless we are in pediatrics, we start in clinical practice with our patients tending to be in the age range of our parents, or even older. Increasingly, as the grey in our temples is promoted to silver, their mean age gets closer to ours, and the […]

Beauty in breaking

Lealani Mae Y. Acosta Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Photo courtesy of Lealani Mae Acosta. Permission granted by Teresa Briley-Scott.  I had a succulent hanging from my office cabinet, suspended in a clear teardrop-shaped terrarium: its spiny green arches floated above a mound of fake snow, which I intermittently illuminated by touching the built-in switch […]

Intubation incarceration: a true tale of torture

Abram Gabriel Piscataway, New Jersey, United States   The Custody of a Prisoner Does Not Call for Torture (La seguridad de un reo no exige tormento). Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes). ca. 1815; published ca. 1859 Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For five days, I could not speak at all. In November 2010, […]

Not-so-natural history

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis Physicians learn about chronic disease by watching its natural history and attempting to modify it with therapies. Cardiologists record episodes of ischemic disease, oncologists follow the progression of malignancies, and pulmonologists note changes in respiratory function over time. When patients are first seen, the disease is […]

“Do I look gay to you?”

Elena Hill New York, United States   Joaquim, Refugee, Tijuana 2020. Richard Hill. When I first went to Tijuana to the US-Mexican border to volunteer as a physician, I was expecting to see women fleeing abuse, men escaping gang violence, and families pursuing a better life. I was not expecting to see a large LGBTQ […]

Cloaked in white

Stacey Maslow Framingham, Massachusetts, United States   Photo courtesy of the author Darkness envelops me. A sliver of light peeks beneath the door from the world beyond the hospital room. Through the window hilled silhouettes stand silent before a veiled black backdrop. My mind wanders to the image of morning in the town just waking […]

My very own back pain

Andrew Bamji Rye, East Sussex, UK   Illustration by Claude Serre. As a rheumatologist, now retired, I spent a good portion of my working life dealing with patients who had back pain. I reckoned over the course of thirty-three years in the specialty that I had back pain largely nailed. I developed an algorithm which […]

Learning about children

Canon Brodar Miami, Florida, United States   The Infant Hercules, ca. 1785–89. Sir Joshua Reynolds, British. Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Surdna Fund. I began my first clinical rotation excited but fearful. Medical students are taught about pediatric pathology and developmental milestones, but nothing about working with children and their families. I had heard […]

Great expectations

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Summer Calm—image by the author “Doctor, I want you to treat her as a forty-year old!” What is the appropriate answer to a demand like that from a daughter about the treatment of her eighty-eight-year-old mother? Any suggestion that her mother might not do well even with the best treatment […]

A dog like that

Rebecca Osborn New Haven, Connecticut, United States   An Old Man with a Dog. Giacomo Ceruti. 1740s. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “You ever seen a dog like that?” I smile and shake my head. Tony sips his black coffee, his eyes lingering on the open doorway. “What a dog. What a beautiful dog. Most […]