Category Archives: Storytelling

The Moth Radio Quarter-Hour

In this Moth piece, a therapist describes her journey with a patient whose cancer returns. After hours of sessions, what two word sentence is the most comforting? Take 15 minutes to listen to Segment 1 below (click >> arrow). Image … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Storytelling

Improvement of the mind through extensive reading

There’s a scene in Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Darcy states that in addition to the usual accomplishments necessary for an early 19th century young lady, one “must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Literature, Storytelling

Literary H&P

Medicine is about storytelling. In particular, the medical history and physical (H&P) is an exhaustive write-up of the current status of the patient, with a strong emphasis on the events leading up to hospital admission. However, it leaves little room … Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, Storytelling

Heard on the floors #3

Mr. M was a 60 year old Asian male who was diagnosed three months ago with cholangiocarcinoma- cancer of the gallbladder bile ducts. He was brought into surgery one week ago, because the CT scan suggested that it may be … Continue reading

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Filed under Day in the Life, Ethics, Heard on the Floors, Hidden curriculum, Storytelling

Growing pains of a medical student

Shara Yurkiewicz, a second year medical student who blogs at This may hurt a bit, describes what happens when doctor-patient boundaries are unintentionally blurred. At the very end of the exam, I tested his cerebellar function.  Touch your nose and … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Physician-patient relationship, Storytelling

Day in the life of an MSIII – Surgery Rotation

4:00 AM – Alarm goes off.  It’s going to be dark for another 2 hours. Sweet. 4:25 AM – Leave the house. Relatively sure I forgot something, but my brain still isn’t functioning, so I ignore the warning bells. 4:40 … Continue reading

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Filed under Day in the Life, Heard on the Floors, Hidden curriculum, Storytelling

Heard on the floors #2 OB-GYN edition

OB-GYN is typically divided into 3 parts- the obstetrics floors, where babies are delivered, the gynecology service, which deals with various gynecological surgeries, and the outpatient clinic, which does everything from pap smears to postpartum care. When people hear OB-GYN, … Continue reading

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Filed under Day in the Life, Heard on the Floors, Hidden curriculum, Humanism, Storytelling

Rounding in the Gallery

Historical figures aren’t the only ones subjected to mystery diagnosis in the modern age. At the National Gallery in London, Professor Michael Baum organizes gallery rounds where he and his students analyze works of art through a clinician’s lens. (via BiblioOdyssey) … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Education, History of Medicine, Storytelling

Grimm and Gray

Valerie Gribben, a new medical resident as of July 1, has an insightful editorial in the New York Times on using fairy tales to understand suffering in medicine. The practice of medicine bestows the sacred privilege to ask about the … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Humanism, Literature, Storytelling, Suffering

Comics & Medicine: Part 1

There’s been an avalanche of comics and medicine news recently, and like any true medical specialty, now there’s a conference! The second annual Comics and Medicine conference was held June 9-11, entitled The Sequential Art of Illness, at Northwestern University. … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Cancer, Chronic illness, Comics, Literature, Storytelling