Tag Archives: Fall 2011

Protecting a child’s true essence

Anjali Vidya Varma New York, New York, United States   I have always felt a particular affection for children. During family gatherings and holiday parties, as the adults sipped wine and discussed the hardships inherent in their work, I would slip away to read a book to the little ones. As the story unfolded I […]

The flutter of an aching heart

Hugh Silk Massachusetts, Worcester, USA   Entangled Anjali Dhurandar, Pencil 8” x 10” “Hi, Kate. Good to see you. How are you?” “I’m nervous, doc, so please tell me everything right away.” Her eyes were focused intensely on mine. It was clear my small talk and pleasantries were unwanted, even before I shut the exam […]


Christopher H. Cameron Kelso, United Kingdom   It was a time in general practice when doctors still visited patients for other than purely medical reasons. Back then, it was easy to forget why or when a particular visit had started or how it had mysteriously evolved into a regular one. “Chronic” was the often vaguely […]

Using book clubs in higher education

William Penson United Kingdom   In higher education, professors are encouraged to blend teaching with a range of approaches. One such approach might be found in the use of book clubs or, as they are sometimes called, literature circles. Book clubs are a relatively recent social phenomenon with a range of groups springing up in […]


Jeanne Bereiter Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States   “I wasn’t trying to kill myself,” Jessica insisted, running a black-tipped, artificial fingernail through her black, gelled hair, which flashed blonde at the roots. “I was drinking, and I miscalculated. I didn’t know this could happen.” Jessica had been admitted to my adolescent psychiatric unit after she […]

A difficult conversation

Ajanta Naidu Irvine, California, United States   Fifteen years old, Jane sat in the exam room innocently denying that large doses of insulin were causing her severely low blood sugars. Living with type 1 diabetes, she had been prescribed daily insulin injections, which she herself administered at meals. Though she denied injecting more than the […]


Gordon L. Kauffman Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA Poet’s statement: While I was participating in a short-term surgical project to Malawi, a nutritionally depleted, malaria-ridden, young boy from Mozambique was brought to the hospital. His abdomen was distended and his abdominal examination revealed peritonitis. The only familiar face in the hospital was his mother’s. While preparing him […]


Jorge A. Lazareff, MD California, Los Angeles, USA Poet’s statement: I adhere to what W. S. Merwin once said, “poetry always begins and ends with listening.” And those represented in this poem are the ones who are rarely heard. Them The more there are, the less you like them. All those rowdy and teary beings […]

Events of the Day – The Date I Will Never Have

Michael Wynn Salem, Oregon, USA Poet’s statement: My medical writing is informed by my fascination with how humans accept and sometimes deny reality.   Events of the day Tomorrow I will tell Mr. Smith, who is compulsively tidy, that he has Parkinson’s disease,and say “epilepsy” to Mr. Alexander, the 27-year-old  trucker who might have to pull […]

Sunbathing the mind: faith healing in India

Karen De Looze Belgium   Ervadi Dargah Karen De Looze Understanding mental health care in an Indian context involves a long and adventurous exploration of faith healing. In India, people who suffer from mental illness frequently employ faith healing as an alternative to psychiatric treatment (Raguram et al. 2002). Faith healing often takes place in […]