Category: Medicine

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Healing By Intention

To heal by tertiary intention is to leave the wound open on purpose; you see it most often in the gritty sort of traumas that leave large chunks of dirt and debris behind, embedded in the still‐injured tissue. People often wonder why this is done, as it is natural within our…

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Birthdays In Absentio

I’m somewhat used to Facebook catching me by surprise by now. A friend (or two or three) has a new girlfriend. And is now engaged. With children. Usually it happens to people that I’m tangentially friends with or to those with whom I’ve lost touch over the years. Occasionally I will feel particularly disquieted by…

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Leave It There

“I thought I could beat the ICU, you know?” My resident looked into the distance abstractly as he spoke, talking more to himself than to me. “Sometimes you think you won’t let it get you down, but you can’t. It always wins.” I wondered what he meant by winning. Did he mean getting to…

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Preparing to Die

She was like so many other patients I had seen: thin, pale, elderly, and short of breath. The oxygen mask and its large ballooning bag seemed unnatural and almost comically oversized on her face, obscuring everything but her eyes and the dusky, blood‐matted hair plastered to her forehead. She squeezed the bag,…

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Justice?

One class I had to take as a medical student was called “Sex Week” and consisted of three days of intensive exposure to human sexuality. While there were many, many things that we discussed and debated, one experience that stood out was a panel given by rape survivors. One of…

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Abba

She wouldn’t stop crying, so I picked her up before realizing that the diaper was wet. The sun was setting and the room was dim and quiet, disturbed only by the peripheral noises of the hospital hallway and the sound of her distress. I gingerly held her up, setting her flat on…

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The Sounds of Joy

It is with a certain and indescribable heaviness of heart that I write this entry today. Never has my soul felt as wooden or as unrevivable as it does now, for never have I had to let go of a friend. I have been blessed with many great friendships in life, most…

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A Reflection on the Anatomy Lab

Originally delivered March 1, 2007 at the Anatomy Lab Memorial Service. In preparing for this reflection, there were many sensations that came to mind: the dryness of dread in my mouth on that first day of lab, the sharp snap of latex gloves, the lingering smell of disinfectant on my…