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Poetry and Medicine
December 24/31, 2003

Identity

Author Affiliations
 

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(24):3172. doi:10.1001/jama.290.24.3172

Between morning rounds and evening report,
between first cut and last stitch.
From ancient wound to robotic laser ablation,
from anxious failure to apathetic arrogance.
Here you will find me.
Between cautious optimism and raging nihilism,
between quiet concern and coercive passion.
From escalating awards to plummeting rewards,
from increasing responsibility to declining self-worth.
Look for me there.
Between heart failure and heartache,
between dogma and heresy.
From symphonic dexterity to arthritic disability,
from educated lie to outcome-biased myth.
You may chart my course.
Between innocence and indifference,
between icon and actor.
From healer to heathen,
from me to you.
Meet me at the crossroads.
And when you seek me out (as you will), do not be surprised, or afraid, or discouraged.
I will have many faces, and many tongues, and many truths, and many lies.
But I will be as you have made me, and we will meet on a field that has your name.
And this will only be the beginning.
We will travel the rest of the way together, as friends.

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