Tag Archives: medical humanities

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Kayla Simms is a Psychiatry Resident (R1) at McMaster University who graduated from medical school at the University of Ottawa in 2017

 

Compartmentalization is to medical knowledge as bread is to butter: patients, divided into sub-types; the body, separated by systems; the physician, detached from the pain.

Or so I once thought.

In medical school, I walked into patients’ rooms and stood idly at the bedside, intimately embedding myself into the darkest spaces of strangers’ lives. The bedside, like a carpenter’s work bench, is where I mastered concepts of sound and touch: the absence of bowel sounds auscultated in an obstructed state. The warmth of inflammation against the back of my hand.

The bedside is where I grew accustomed to asking questions like, “How is your pain today?” and learned to de-humanize the experience with the help of a 10-point scale. ...continue reading

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Shawn Katuwapitiya is a Psychiatry Resident (R4) at the University of Ottawa who graduated from medical school at Western University in 2014

 

This poem was performed at the 2017 , where Shawn was acting as one of Ottawa's representatives from the . He regularly publishes poetry at .

...continue reading

Maggie Hulbert is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Queen's University

 

Imagine working in a hospital where a child is admitted and kept on the wards for seven years without being allowed to see their family. Now imagine being that child, and growing up to be an adult in today’s healthcare system. Would you ever set foot in a hospital again? Would you ever trust a doctor? These are the kind of questions that come to mind while reading , a book written by investigative journalist Gary Geddes. By travelling across Canada and interviewing Indigenous leaders, Elders, and members of a wide variety of First Nations, Geddes provides a powerful account of how Canada’s historic Indian Hospitals and Tuberculosis Sanatoriums directly and intentionally contributed to the genocide of Indigenous people. ...continue reading

Cathy Li is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at the University of Toronto

 

"Doctor, what do you recommend for my grandmother's pancreatic tumour?" My heart was fluttering nervously as I scribbled down his suggestions. This was the third meeting I had arranged.

Growing up, I had a very close relationship with my grandmother and lived with my grandparents until I was six years old. I received the news of her diagnosis during my third year of university. The words “intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm” haunted me and echoed incessantly in my head for days; I could neither think nor focus. The feelings of powerlessness grappled to hold me down. Yet deep down, I was aware that simply being a passive bystander would be the greatest personal defeat. With that, a new wave of resilience inundated my thoughts. ...continue reading

Usman Khan is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

Tharshika Thangarasa is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

 

 

You find me:
Sprawled across the cold, dark asphalt.
Incoherent, incompetent, "incapable".
Hypotensive, bradycardic, cyanotic.

Overdosed. ...continue reading

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Eleni Levreault is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

 

 

 

They said medicine, when you begin,
Is like staring Mount Everest in the face.
You wonder how the mountain you climbed
Suddenly shrinks to a hill beside what is yet to come
Yet you start the climb;
This is what you’ve trained for, after all
And as summer turns to fall, the journey begins:
Genetics, anatomy, they consume all your time
As the snow settles in, the bell-ringers cease to chime ...continue reading

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Yipeng Ge is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

 

Having completed a handful of family medicine preceptorships and a few electives, I have had the opportunity to gain exposure to talking to patients one-on-one — and I am beyond excited to enter this field.

Learning about another human being and immersing yourself in their stories and concerns is a privilege — a chance to be present and to be there for them. I was fortunate enough to tag along on many patient home visits for my most recent family preceptorship session. ...continue reading

Ashleigh Frayne is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Calgary

 

 

 

My neck aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My mind, as though clouded by sleeplessness,
Or cushioned by some dull opiate.
One hour past, and the labour ward darkens:
The softly buzzing lights overhead pulse
And seem to warn of Queen Mab:
Midwife to thoughts unbidden, ...continue reading

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Jason Gencher is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Toronto

 

Today is the day. I have waited six months for today. I’m so tired, I can barely get myself out of bed. What time is it? I’m so hungry. Those Timbits look old, but I’m too hungry to care about that. I’m so tired — maybe I’ll go back to sleep? Don’t I have something to do today?  Why is there this weird taste in my mouth? What she’s saying is all lies. There’s no truth in it all. They say things about me, but it’s all a big lie. One giant lie. When did I get this fat? It’s because of the medication. I used to be slim and athletic. But now I have circulation problems. It’s the medications they give me. ...continue reading

Tharshika Thangarasa is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

 

 

 

You wait,
And enter.

You have 60 minutes to speak.

To expose the intricate framework of your mind,
_______The context of your predicaments,
_______The emotional underpinnings of your life. ...continue reading