No. 11: The time my niece cut her skin off

6 Minute Read-Sometime before medical school I heard the crying before I heard the doorbell ring. It was around 4 in the afternoon, and big yellow buses were trucking down the neighborhood streets, dropping kids home after school. I was living with family at the time to save money on rent, which came with particular …

No. 10: My patient was abandoned by her family

7 Minute Read-Intern Year: “The problem is… you don’t have enough sex,” said my patient as I helped her back into bed. “ExCUSE me?!” I spurted incredulously, watching her as she chuckled. She was an 80-something-year-old, spunky, olive-toned woman with silvery white hair she wore in a long braid down her back. She demanded I …

No. 9: The time my patient used me to get high

7 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 105: “Wait, what room is he in?” “Seriously, I’ll just walk by the room and peek in, no harm done!” “He’s probably not even that cute.” A few of my co-interns were joking with me about a patient I was about to admit from the emergency department. We had heard …

No. 8: The time I had a panic attack

7 Minute Read-2nd Year, Medical School: Spring “So, what do you say, Beautiful? Will you do me the honor of going to dinner with me tonight?” I read the text over and over, contemplating the potential consequences of agreeing to go to dinner with him (henceforth referred to as Jason for anonymity). If it had …

No. 7: The time I wore a crop-top to work

4 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 85: “Honestly, doc, I’m not answering any more questions this morning. You can go,” an ornery 60-something-year-old patient said to me with a dismissive wave of his hand. I usually tried to mirror my patients’ body language and tone to build rapport, but this morning I had probably come in …

No. 6: The first time I told a patient he had cancer

6 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 70: There is a particular patient I remember more vividly than most. We’ll call him Mr. K. He was a dark brown man in his early fifties, his thick beard speckled with silver hairs. He had a heart warming smile. His wife was at his bedside every single time I …

No. 5: I gave a patient’s family member my cell phone number

7 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 45: “You are the most phenomenal doctor,” a patient’s sister exclaimed, as she hugged me. It was my first day seeing Mr. C, a 60-something-year-old gentleman admitted after a fall at home. Since being in the hospital, he had been confused on-and-off, resorting to actions such as calling 911 from …