Skip to main content

Fragment 1

There are times when every footfall is as though through a field of melted cheese, when the atmosphere is so thick with fog it has entered the brain and begun to solidify, and the bleachers are full of screaming schoolchildren hurling rusty darts at my slowly moving target. These are days when insights and thoughts come as shards through an unfocused kaleidoscope.

Read more

Wounded Healer

This week's guest post is a poem by Dr. Erin McConnell, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics specialist at Ohio State. I had a chance this summer to hear Erin read some of her creative work about health and medicine, and I asked her if she might be willing to share some of it with Patient Time. She introduced this poem: "a Type A (is there any other type?) physician explores her own frustrations with a plague of chronic injuries"

Read more

This Plot, This Pound of Flesh

I haven't written here since the new year began for mostly happy reasons: I am back at work, teaching (yay!), editing and writing (huzzah!), and attending meetings (as I said: mostly happy). Getting through this past semester—and a full summer of conference travel and an intensive seminar—feels like a major victory. In the early months of 2015, when I was increasingly unable to make it to campus to teach, I wondered if I would ever return to my former life. Now I am ordering books for the fall semester, editing a new journal, organizing a symposium, navigating deadlines.

Read more

Our Body, Our Selves (Part 1)

When we talk about healthcare, we spend a lot of time talking about individuals—patient's rights, privacy, the doctor-patient relationship. Of course, it is as individuals that we experience our illnesses and our encounters with doctors. But medicine is by its nature a matter of populations. The meaningful relationship to discuss is not doctor and patient but medical professionals and the populations they treat—and the institutions in which they all live and work. No disease is cured by individuals or for an individual. They are cured by teams, often collaborating (and competing) across generations. They are cured for populations, whose odds improve as knowledge of the disease and its cure disseminates across the profession and roots itself in curriculum and practice.

Read more