During one of our last monthly community walks before the statewide lockdown for COVID-19, Lorna (not real name) and I brought up the rear. Our paces were perfectly matched; she, an elderly woman walking intentionally and carefully, and me, a young mother, pushing a double stroller with two kids. Our conversations ranged from our favorite things to do in Durham to her life as the partner of a diplomat and all the countries in which she has lived, to my life as a medical resident in Durham. We talked about her children and grandchildren, her commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and her desire to maximize the time and quality of time she has with her family. Seeing us from afar, you would think we had known each other for years; in actuality, we had just met that morning.Read More
We’ve known each other so long I’ve forgotten how we first met.
What caught my eye?
The joy on the faces of others
The way the light glistened, highlighting
a certain smoothness and simplistic beauty.
Surrounded by various companions,
I’m sure you were radiant that day.
Perhaps a friend introduced us
I’m not sure I would have been adventurous enough to approach on my own
And what a beautiful name you had.
“I can’t do this.”
“I feel like nothing. I feel numb to everything.”
“This isn’t for me. This isn’t the life I want.”
These are just a few of the texts I sent my fiancée during my first month of inpatient general medicine, which I finished just a few weeks ago. There were moments when I thought about walking away from the path that I’d chosen and there were moments where I felt my worth was that of the gravel that coated the parking lot of the hospital. Suffice it to say, it was not the best month I’ve ever had. It was one of the most grueling and self-revelatory periods of my life. However, I look back on those four weeks now with a fondness that is based in the lessons I learned and in knowing that my feelings were not congruent with the reality of the situation I was in.Read More
A 5-year-old boy and his parents came into my clinic recently. The family had just immigrated to the U.S. The boy had been in and out of hospitals for much of his early years, and his mother was concerned that he was having trouble adjusting to his new home. "He's been through a lot and he’s a little scared of doctors," she said. So, I put away my stethoscope and let the computer stay in sleep mode. I was glad to be wearing a fleece and not a white coat. The little boy and I exchanged greetings and then we spent a few minutes looking out the window at the cars going by.Read More
Perspective From the Other Side
On Valentine’s Day 2018, my husband and I went for our first primary care appointments since we were in college. We were both medical students, had recently turned 26 and were freshly kicked off our parents’ insurance plans, and obtained insurance through our medical school. As an aspiring family medicine physician, I was excited to have my health evaluated by someone other than another medical student and catch up on whatever was needed for health maintenance based on my age.Read More