Tag Archives: Fall 2010

Another Found Poem – Anatomy of Love

John A. Vanek St. Petersburg, Florida, United States   Poet’s statement: I am a physician by training, but a poet by passion. Poetry provides a vehicle that takes me to places that logic won’t go. It is a way of understanding the incomprehensible, both in life and in medicine. I now prescribe poetry PRN (“as needed”), […]

When children die

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).  Angus Easton died surrounded by loved ones who had done everything possible to ease his suffering. Angus was obviously the apple of his family’s eye, and […]

End of season liquidation sale

Catalina Florina Florescu Jersey City, New Jersey, USA   I saw before me a nightmare where bodies lay in a heap. Fixed like statues, their immobility belied their carnal appearance. I asked a nurse, why are these people piled like garbage? The nurse replied that it was a still from a homemade video. When these […]

The castrati: a physician’s perspective, part 2

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   The first half of this article was previously published in Hektoen International, Summer 2010 as  The castrati: a physician’s perspective, part I Medical aspects In this second part, we turn to the medical aspects of our subject and questions of by whom and by what methods were […]

The pianist

Steven Cheng St. Louis, Missouri, United States   I had seen her name before. Her recitals were always well covered in the local press and reviews were littered with superlatives. “Sparkling Mozart,” they raved. “ A phenomenon.” “A vessel of tremendous power and virtuosity.” Yet it was always disguised beneath a most unlikely figure. She was barely five feet […]

Historical reflections on cause, responsibility and blame in medicine

William R. Albury New England, Armidale, Australia   Debauchery and disease In the early years of British settlement in Australia the colonial authorities regarded drunkenness as one of the major evils of the day. Their preoccupation with this social problem was mirrored by the concern of the colony’s medical men with drunkenness as a cause […]

Healing hidden wounds: a personal perspective

Jean Cozier Chicago, Illinois, United States   When we’re small and we hurt ourselves, we usually find ways to fix it.  We may cry a little, suck the wound, or run to Mommy so that she can kiss it and make it better. But what if we don’t know for sure we’ve been hurt?  If […]

Each day is magnified

Ronald Pies Syracuse, New York and Boston, Massachusetts, United States   This piece originally appeared in the August, 2010 issue of Healing Muse, a publication of the Center for Bioethics & Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York   Suddenly and inexplicably I discovered that I was anemic. My hemoglobin had run reliably […]

On being a spousal caregiver

William Black Knoxville, Tennessee, United States   When I was 55 years old, and had been in the private practice of Internal Medicine and Nephrology for 22 years, my wife Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis she already had widespread bony metastases. Five weeks later, I came home one […]

I don’t know how it happened

Rae Brown Lexington, Kentucky, United States   There are angels in every emergency room. They sit above the fray and listen and learn. They hear the laments of the doctors and nurses as they try to save a child. They hear the sometimes incredulous comments of those who may be responsible, in some way, for […]