By Fabiana Juan Martinuzzi
“Pobrecito”– she said as we discussed the patient’s pneumonia course before entering his room.
“Pobrecito” – she repeated as we donned our gloves.
“Pobrecito”- she mouthed to us in front of our patient.
“Pobrecito”- she whispered in my ear as we left the room.
That day, “pobrecito” became a word I eliminated from my vocabulary. In Spanish “Pobrecito” translates roughly to “poor thing” or “poor baby” and it is an appropriate word to use to show empathy with an endearing connotation. However, when one of the healthcare providers in the team used it incessantly to show pity in front of my 60 year old patient with cerebral palsy and dementia I began to cringe every time I heard her say it.Read More »
By Suzanne Minor
At this year’s Southern Group on Educational Affairs conference, the University of Mississippi hosted an outing at the Two Mississippi Museums, consisting of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
I focused my visit on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. It was exhausting, difficult, heart-wrenching, and, in the end, hopeful. Growing up in rural Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, I witnessed legalized segregation through small private schools and experienced rampant racism as the norm. Thankfully, college and medical school broadened my perspective, particularly gross anatomy. Once without skin, all of those black and white cadavers looked so similar. Not better than or less than, but equal in skinless death. I dove into former slave narratives, reading Frederick Douglas and trying to reconcile the message from my upbringing – that I was better than because I was white – with my new learning in gross anatomy and in my direct experience with people who looked different than me. I was learning that we were all just human, no better and no worse than each other. My professional career has been dedicated to attending to the medical and holistic needs of the underserved communities of Miami, Florida, a diverse area in which I’m in the minority.
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By Nalini Juthani
On a bright early morning while getting ready for work, suddenly, something went “Swoosh” in my head. I saw double and felt dizzy with eyes open. Horrified, I returned back to my bed. In a few moments I began to play out various scenarios in my mind. Each potential diagnosis that flashed in front of me had an ominous outcome although my mind was clear. I woke up my husband, a physician, who examined me and said “I am calling our neurosurgeon neighbor”. It was a remarkable Friday when the world seemed to be crashing down on me.
I was a 40-year-old, happily married doctor with three loving young children. Our family had just moved into a new home. I was also enjoying a successful academic career. I wanted to live. I was simply afraid to die!Read More »
By Angira Patel
When I started my medical training, my pediatrics residency program banned all pharmaceutical sponsorship of activities. No free lunch in the middle of the day, no fancy dinners at expensive restaurants, or trips to conferences paid for by a pharmaceutical company. Even my lab coat was unadorned by the colorful pens given by various drug representatives. At the time, I remember thinking a pen or a free lunch would never influence how and what I prescribe to my patients.
As a young trainee, I did not appreciate why my residency program took this stance, but I do now. Read More »
By David C. Leach
It has been more than thirty years since she first came to see me – a vital woman in her early seventies who had detected a lump in her breast on a self-exam. A diagnostic work up confirmed cancer and the smallish lesion was removed. It never recurred. By the time a second lump appeared in the other breast we had come to know each other. She was now in her late seventies and this lump also proved to be cancer. It was removed. Postoperatively in the hospital she looked a bit depressed.
She was not an alcoholic, however, she had told me that she enjoyed an occasional martini before dinner. I did something I had never done before and have never done since. I brought a Waterford crystal glass containing a nicely mixed martini to her hospital room. She accepted it without comment. We talked while she sipped. She told me that she had discovered and joined the Hemlock Society. In her words: “Dr. Leach, I know that given your lily white ethics you would never countenance euthanasia so I joined the Hemlock Society. I now know what to do and you needn’t trouble yourself.” I thanked her for her consideration and we talked briefly about her concerns and choices. In my opinion she was not at risk for suicide. She knew that this lesion also was small and with negative nodes would likely not recur. What she wanted was to be empowered to make her own life decisions. I assured her that she was. . .
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By Hedy S. Wald
“Medicine was used for villainous ends during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was an enormous trauma inflicted on human dignity and the human person; medicine was implicated in crimes against humanity.” His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston.1
January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 after a special session marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.2 In the words of Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon (2008), “The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is a day on which we must reassert our commitment to human rights… We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history. We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world.”2
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By Mark Kuczewski
On April 28, 2016, ten minutes before the NFL draft of college players was to begin, the Twitter account of Laremy Tunsil of the University of Mississippi, displayed a video of him wearing a gas mask and smoking from a bong. Mr. Tunsil was a talented prospect widely believed about to become the second player drafted. He had done an imprudent action at some point and, allegedly, a hacker made the video record available to the world. A panic swept through the NFL executives making selections for their teams. Mr. Tunsil was not selected second as predicted but was passed over until the Miami Dolphins took him with the number thirteen pick in the draft. Because higher draft picks receive larger contracts than those drafted later, commentators estimate that the drop in draft rank likely cost Mr. Tunsil at least $8,000,000…
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