Tag Archives: poem

 is an Internal Medicine Resident (R1) at the University of Toronto. Check back the last Thursday of each month for a new featured piece as part of his series (Doc Talks: Reflections to Reality)!

 


 

No S1Q3T3

on the waveforms of her ECG,

but nobody turned to check

for signs of right heart strain in me.

 

Alarm beeping cuts through cold silence

only to leave the same void behind on cue;

my mother, ‘the patient’, is fading away,

and I, ‘the bystander’, am too.

...continue reading

Beatrice Preti is an R2 in internal medicine at the Queen's University.

 

 


There were things I meant, but didn’t say
As I heard your heartbeat fade away
My stethoscope was on your chest
When you drifted off to eternal rest
I’d spent the whole night by your side
There was nothing left we hadn’t tried
But the drugs and tubes and shocks and lines
Bought you little extra time
Your path was clear right from the start
I had no cure for your sick heart
Yet you asked me to try, so I did my best
But, despite our efforts, things progressed
When the new dawn broke, your life did, too,
You never heard what I said to you
How I begged forgiveness, my quiet prayers,
You stared straight ahead, as if I weren’t there
Close to the end, you’d opened your eyes
Looked up with desperation, as if the skies
Would rain down mercy for your plight
But no salvation came on that fateful night

This was never our initial plan
We’d all seemed to understand
That you were dying and wanted peace
A soft and gentle, graceful release
But as your time was drawing near
You changed your mind. That much was clear.
You told me you were afraid to die
I said I’d help, but that was a lie
I didn’t share my other thoughts
That tied my stomach and heart in knots
I knew then that it was too late
Yet I donned my gloves, and fought with fate
I wrote the orders, increased the dose,
Pulled up a chair so I could be close
You had no family to stand by your side
Your rocky end was a solo ride
As the night grew thin, your breaths grew shallow
Your once-ruddy face turned blank and sallow
I never said I was sorry to you
By the time I could say it, the end was through
The dawn broke cruelly on the brand-new day
And all the things I meant, but didn’t say

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing : .

 


 

as if you’ve already known

that it must be i

quiet i looking i

holding the heavy love

for us both

 

these giant holes of light

these hands wrecked with the small

and the insects that sit on bony branches

like lesser gods dissolving in the leaves

that too know

how to pray

or kill a man

 

my brother is tickling my feet

my sister is wanting to wrestle us both

air laughs between then and then in the sweet pardon

of excuse me child

have you heard what rumi said

about this

let the beauty we love be what we do

 

are you done

is this night

where i dream in the slop of your inhale

with persian on my tongue

the split fruit of books on the carpet

where i am trying to swear more often

because of that damned poet reminding

each day is a tinier day

each body is becoming less of a body

by being with others

 

on a ripped page is an entire life

in a word there the worried universe

 

the scalps understand

the scallops even more so

you lick your fingers with childhood

meat full of meat

like my grandmother who taught her

earth brown cat

a persian i think

to tickle

to hold

to love the unknown

universally

Shubham Shan is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Toronto

 

 

 

How to read a :

  1. Read the left hand poem as a first discrete poem.
  2. Read the right hand poem as a second discrete poem.
  3. Read the whole as a third integrated poem.

...continue reading

Matthew Lee is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at Dalhousie University

 

I was totally unsure. Meeting a patient who knows they are going to die... wouldn’t it be intrusive, at the end? A student coming into your life: asking questions, getting signatures, asking you to share your precious time. In the same position, I don’t know if I would say yes. That thought makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Checking in on the floor, with information hurriedly scribbled into the margins of a notebook. A brief run-in with her mother in the crowded room, then twenty minutes spent in the hallway — trying not to be obtrusive while staff hurry by. There are visitors every day, and I doubt I looked out of place.

In some ways, I chose to take on this project in order to become more comfortable with death. It’s something I have faced before, and it took years to move past my friend dying from lymphoma. He quickly stepped away to take a phone call at our convocation. It was a biopsy result. Nearly six months to the day and it was all over. It took nearly everything I had. ...continue reading

Sunjit Parmar is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of British Columbia

 

 

 

Warmth as hostility in a cruel summer’s dream:

Surrounded by the thick, humid mid-summer air, I await the prickling breeze of late November.

I drift beneath the cool, dark shadows... a nearby cedar sways above.

Aware of the fiery weather, a sheath of saline smothering me, I mindlessly plunge into a slow, warm stream. Upset by the warmth of the swampy summer water, I catch sight of my reflection: a suddenly aged man. I look away. ...continue reading

1 Comment

Michael Gritti is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Toronto

 

 

“To induce asystole as needed.”
Looking the decision in the face
wasn't as simple as I'd thought, I conceded.
But, simply, was it right? Was it just?

Eighty millimoles of potassium chloride: ...continue reading

Charlotte BlackmoreCharlotte Blackmore
University of Toronto
Class of 2016

crazy brilliance

Beatrice Preti
McMaster University
Class of 2017

 

 

 

 

 

The curtains were drawn, I walked into the room,
Looked at the lady, and said, “How do you do?”
She was very kind, just a little bit addled,
But the doctors around us were really quite baffled
Had she had a stroke? Was it from the MVC?
There was nothing at all to see on the multiple CTs
Save a little bit of shadowing, in the corner over here
But the pictures were too blurry. No, not a single thing was clear!
So they made a few calls, and then made a couple more
They met with the consultants on every single floor
They put their heads together, and came up with an answer
“It’s so obvious!” they said. “She has metastatic cancer!”
...continue reading

Kevin Dueck
Western University
Class of 2016

This piece was originally created for and showcased at Creating Space V (a White Coat, Warm ART exhibit in Vancouver, BC from April 24 to 28, 2015). It collects words and phrases that have been lost during clinical training, some due to superstition, others due to social pressures or encounters with patients.

 

(It’s)
Slow
Quiet

(I)
Promise
Guarantee
Know

(They’re)
Irritable
Lethargic

(I’m)
Sure
Tired
Sick

(You’ll)
Be Fine
Get Back Home

(They’ll)
Take Good Care of You

 

Kevin has also published a piece titled "Learning From Experience" on our Blog. For more of his work, check out his or follow him on Twitter @AbootMedicine.