Volume 3, Issue 3

Feature articles – Mental illness

Dirty laundry

Dirty laundryMary T. Shannon, MSW, MS
Portland, Oregon

She was sitting in the dark with one leg hiked up on her bed, staring out the window, the street light angled across her face like a three-quarter moon. More…

A song for me

Taylor SwiftSteve Sobel, MD

St. Albans, Vermont

Sometimes the obvious is revealed to us as a life-altering revelation that shifts the tectonic plates of our world. More…


AppleBrian D. Moseley, MD
Rochester, Minnesota

Lunchtime began like any other. Attempting to ward off the cold, most of the second graders huddled under Mrs. Gerhardt’s umbrella. More…

Sunbathing the mind

Legend of St.StephenKaren De Looze, MS
Brussels, Belgium

Understanding mental health care in an Indian context involves a long exploration of faith healing. More…

From changelings to extraterrestrials

The legend of St. StephenWilliam R. Albury, PhD
Armidale, Australia

While evolution of the modern concept of autism dates from the middle of the twentieth More..

A happy individual knows nothing

Gerome DiogenesBasil Brooke, PhD
Johannesburg, South Africa

Most people, most of the time, tend to avoid the really big questions More..


Heartland down

Stephanie Ezell
Chicago, Illinois

Saying that we see emptiness in the eyes of a mentally ill person is a means for the rest of us to be ok, to stand apart. There is nothing there, so we feel better. More…


Double DepressionMargaret Irene Baczewski
Tucson, Arizona

People with mental illness are widely misunderstood by others. More…

The privilege of memory loss

Meg Smith, PhD, MPH

When older folks’ memories begin to drift, they say the past is slipping away. In my case, the past has jettisoned away. It is me who is slipping away. I search for words and come up blank. More…

For you, I want to be more

Rodins evil spiritsMegan Winkelman
Palo Alto, California

He watches as I compulsively pick threads from the blanket More…


Literature and medicine

Favorite quotes

I firmly believe that if the whole material medica could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worse for the fishes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

More quotations

Jane Austen and the hypochondriacs

Jane AustenGeorge Dunea, MD
Chicago, Illinois

Jane Austen began working on Sanditon in January More…

Using book clubs in
higher education

William Penson
Leeds, United Kingdom

In higher education, professors are encouraged to blend teaching with a range of approaches. More…

Literary quiz

First sentences of great books!

  1. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
  2. Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts.

Test your knowledge here!


Doctor-patient relationship

The flutter of an aching heart

EntangledHugh Silk, MD
Worcester, Massachusetts

Her eyes were focused intensely on mine. It was clear my small talk and pleasantries were unwanted More…


Jeanne Bereiter, MD
Albuquerque, New Mexico

“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.” More…

A difficult conversation

Healthy lunchAjanta Naidu, MD
Irvine, California

I racked my brain, “Why wouldn’t she follow my instructions on insulin dosing?” More…


Dr. 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. More…

Five minutes to midnight

WatchDean Gianakos, MD
Lynchburg, Virginia

Five minutes early for his appointment, I met Dr. Ivan Minski at the weigh station. He was dressed in a sharp, blue suit and narrow tie. More…

Struggles, gratitude, and love

Jeconda Harris and David G. Thoele, MD
Park Ridge, Illinois

Jeconda Harris, my patient for 17 years, gave me a collection of her poetry and expressed her desire to have it published. Regretfully, this did not happen within her lifetime More…


Medical history

Oaths, codes, and charters
in medicine over the ages

HummarabiL. J. Sandlow, MD
Chicago, Illinois

Medical oaths are solemn pledges taken by medical students as they complete their training and enter the practice of medicine. More…

Patient compliance in the 18th century

Simone-Auguste TissotEinar Perman, MD, PhD
Stockholm, Sweden

Young physicians are told that the doctor should treat the patient, not the disease. This is sound advice, but knowing the patient is often not easy. More…

A friendship between
two Swedish humanists

Angel of AnnunciationFrank A. Wollheim MD, PhD
Lund, Sweden

This story tells of two prominent humanists, Jan Gösta Waldenström and Dag Hammaskjöld. More…


Becoming a medical professional

A lasting effect

Bryan Sisk
Cleveland, Ohio

My eyes immediately focused on the bandaged stump and the empty space where his leg used to be. More…

I’m sorry to hear that

Ana Liang
New York City, New York

“Harris! Malcolm Harris!” I shout, walking through the waiting area. The glass pavilion is full of people anxiously waiting to hear their names. More…

Protecting a child’s true essence

Anjali Vidya Varma
New York City, New York

During family gatherings and holiday parties, as the adults sipped wine and discussed the hardships inherent in their work More…



Jorge A. Lazareff

The more there are, the less you like them.
All those rowdy and teary beings that circle your exhausted body
and pelt your mind with questions that do not have
a beginning or an end.

Gordon L. Kauffman, Jr.

MozambiqueIn this desolate place they call him Miracle:
Wasted, defenseless, and ravaged,
His distended abdomen draped by skeletal arms.


Michael Wynn

NeuronTomorrow I will tell Mr. Smith,
who is compulsively tidy,
that he has Parkinson’s disease,

and say “epilepsy” to Mr. Alexander, More…