CurbsidePoetry: comforting the comforter

CurbsidePoetry: comforting the comforter

The Diagnosis

The edge of darkness conversely is the brink of light
Here I stand frozen with fright on the verge of hope
What should frighten and what should I fear?
When all the worry and the storm’s fury
Dissipates with you here…

Amish Dangodara, M.D.

Author's Reflections
A patient comforted me at seeing my obvious discomfort in giving her bad news. She reminded me that what she had to confront, good or bad, could not be changed; all she needed was someone to guide her through the road ahead.


(photo credit: Munch und Warnemünde 1907-1908)

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Lessons Learned

(a tribute to all the new interns and the patients who educate them)

There is always an exception to a rule. Even a wise and inviolable rule such as “the only reasons not to do a digital rectal exam is if you don’t have fingers or the patient does not have an anus.” I learned this lesson and many others like it the hard way during my memorable year as a medical intern.

Late one on-call night, a middle aged man rolls into the coronary care unit on a gurney.

“Our chest pain admission is here. You’re up ...

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