Reflection (Examined Life Journal 2017)   Monica is staring into my right eye. The opthalmoscope shakes; she sighs and begins again. “Find the red reflex,” I say, in the dual role of teacher and patient. “See it? That’s the lens. Now come in close—really close—and tell me what you see now.” This clinical skills […]

The Little Things

I had the strangest email last night. A woman I didn’t know sent me a message on the physician-only website that we both frequent. She thanked me for my support of Islam in the face of terrible racist comments by some other members. I don’t believe I ever had direct contact with this physician. I […]

No Words

I am searching through the emails Bridget sent. Did I miss something? She sounded excited about her essay, the one that I thought was good enough for publication. I read over a hundred of these papers, part of an interprofessional competency course. Bridget’s was exceptional—reflective, revealing—a fine example of narrative medical writing. I didn’t see […]


Featured on KevinMD   I settle into the bent-wicker chair on my newly painted and screened lanai and try to relax. It’s a perfect island day, the temperature warm, the breeze cool, and I gaze out over the pool to the tops of the coastal mangroves. I’ve just come home from a shift at the […]


MAC – Minimum Acceptable Competence Day 1 I take the disc, one of eight, and insert it into the DVD drive of my office computer. Lights flash, things whirr…and nothing appears on my screen. Each video runs about an hour and shows the student interacting with and examining a standardized (volunteer) patient. There is a […]

The Free Clinic

I love the free clinic. “So, what’s in the closet?” Innovative and basic ways to help people. I can’t believe what I see…people so grateful for a touch from a med student. One patient introduced me to a whole new art form, watercolor pencils. We can still practice real medicine