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Poetry and Medicine
February 20, 2013

Routine Procedure

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jamanetwork.org.

Author Affiliation: Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania (erica.t.bates@gmail.com).

JAMA. 2013;309(7):639. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.30393

First-year hands cut hesitantly
Into cool rubbery tissue,
While downstairs
Warm flesh parts quickly
Under hot lights.
White coats aggregate,
Obstruct the flow of patients
Through the narrow halls.
White sleeves stain yellow
At the cuff, marred where flesh
Touches the clean cotton.

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