“The Choice” – Annie Wang (1T8)

"The Choice" - Annie Wang (1T8) Author's Note: When I first submitted this piece to ArtBeat, I asked the ArtBeat Team to feature it anonymously. As a first-year student entering this new world of medicine -- a world that perhaps had unwritten rules and unspoken codes I didn't yet know about -- I was afraid … Continue reading “The Choice” – Annie Wang (1T8)


This Month’s Student Submission: “Motherhood” (Paige Zhang, 1T7)

Author’s Note: This piece was inspired by the most recent reading “It May Be Her Eggs But It’s My Blood”: Surrogates and Everyday Forms of Kinship in India by the Social Studies of Medicine Reading Group. I was interested in the fluid meanings of “motherhood”, the work that goes into human kinship, and how this all ties into … Continue reading This Month’s Student Submission: “Motherhood” (Paige Zhang, 1T7)

When Young Doctors Strut Too Much of Their Stuff

from New York Times Online View Online By ERIN N. MARCUS, M.D. Published: November 21, 2006 MIAMI, Nov. 20 — When I was a new faculty physician, I worked with a resident doctor who was smart and energetic and took excellent care of her patients. There was just one problem. As she delivered her thoughtful … Continue reading When Young Doctors Strut Too Much of Their Stuff

No Free Lunch (Paul Jung)

PREFACE: It is no secret that drug com- panies operate in a world of high risks and potentially high gains. Recouping large in- vestments made in new drug research and development and maximizing corporate profits depend on persuading the medical community to prescribe as much of specific medications as possible. That persuasion takes many forms, … Continue reading No Free Lunch (Paul Jung)

The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy (Jacalyn Duffin)

Anatomy is to physiology, as geography to history; it describes the theatre of events. - Jean-Fernel, On the Natural Part of Medicine (1542); cited in C. Sherrington, The Endeavour of John Fernel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946), 64 Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body. Today it seems integral to the study … Continue reading The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy (Jacalyn Duffin)

Heiligenstadt Testament (Ludwig Van Beethoven)

Testament For my brothers Carl and [Johann] Beethoven O you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me, you do not know the secret causes of my seeming, from childhood my heart and mind were disposed to the gentle feelings of good will, I was … Continue reading Heiligenstadt Testament (Ludwig Van Beethoven)

Fiction as Resistance (Samuel Shem)

I was a writer before I was a doctor. From an early age I was concerned with suffering and understanding, and I often turned to stories for solace. I loved stories long before I knew they were an essence of good doctoring-shared stories that bring solace, understanding, and healing to others. During summers in high … Continue reading Fiction as Resistance (Samuel Shem)

What is a Profession? (Earle Scarlett)

We in the medical profession are at times apt to be confused and have our attention distracted by the temper and spectacle of the contemporary scene. There is plenty of talk about medical economics, bus less about professional aspects of our craft. To be sure, we cannot be indifferent to changing economic conditions or to … Continue reading What is a Profession? (Earle Scarlett)

From the Heart (Rachel Naomi Remen)

Rachel Naomi Remen is the co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, and is currently a clinical professor of family and community medicine at San Francisco School of Medicine. She is the author of My Grandfather’s Blessings, from which this essay is taken, and the best-selling book Kitchen Table … Continue reading From the Heart (Rachel Naomi Remen)

Notes on Emphysema (Hayden Carruth)

1. Smudgie, my beautiful white cat, lies curled on the bed beside me. She doesn't know she's breathing. 2. At the beginning of the instant of oxygen deprivation, as when one exhales as far as one strenuously can and the lungs ache, a diminutive twitch and tingle are felt in the little finger of each hand, as if … Continue reading Notes on Emphysema (Hayden Carruth)

Skin (Richard Selzer)

I sing of skin, layered fine as baklava, whose colors shame the dawn, at once the scabbard upon which is writ our only signature, and the instrument by which we are thrilled, protected, and kept constant in our natural place. Here is each man bagged and trussed in perfect amiability. See how it upholsters the … Continue reading Skin (Richard Selzer)

The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine (Eric J. Cassell)

The obligation of physicians to relieve human suffering stretches back into antiquity. Despite this fact, little attention is explicitly given to the problem of suffering in medical education, research, or practice. I will begin by focusing on a modern paradox: Even in the best settings and with the best physicians, it is not uncommon for … Continue reading The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine (Eric J. Cassell)

Bones (Richard Selzer)

Bones. Two hundred and eight of them. A whole glory turned and tooled. Lo the timbered femur all hung and strapped with beef, whose globate head nuzzles the concave underpart of the pelvis; the little carpals of the wrist faceted as jewels and as jewels named - capitate, lunate, hamate, pisiform; the phalanges, tiny kickshaws … Continue reading Bones (Richard Selzer)