Explore JAMA’s A Piece of My Mind essays, real-life stories from physicians about the joys and challenges of practicing medicine in the modern era.
This essay describes a physician’s experience with terminating a wanted pregnancy and underscores the importance of access to abortion care.
In this narrative medicine essay, an internal medicine physician, invited to speak at an International AIDS Society plenary session about his HIV work, endures a cool response from his parents upon sharing his HIV status but is met with a standing ovation and cheered by his chosen family and friends after the speech.
This essay describes a family of physicians waiting for a heart valve for their vivacious 95-year-old aunt.
In this narrative medicine essay, a family medicine physician whose daughter was born with a 50% chance of having the Huntingtin gene embraces the joy of the present over the fear of the future.
In this narrative medicine essay, a retired family physician recalls sitting with her mother in the final minutes of her life after the ventilator has been removed.
This essay describes the author’s experience in interacting with a patient diagnosed with a serious illness and how focusing on the patient’s interests and making them happy was an example of a low-tech, high-touch intervention.
In this essay, the author discusses the importance of a Match system that supports and keeps families together while in training.
In this narrative medicine essay, a geriatrician finds synchronicity with medicine and gardening, an activity that calms his mind, stretches his limbs, and gives him insight.
This On the Brain describes a Hmong student’s experience in medical school.
In this narrative medicine essay, a family medicine physician’s experience while undergoing a breast biopsy inspires her to build trust with her patients by listening and counseling more.
In this narrative medicine essay, an emergency medicine physician felt the full embrace of health care but not before she surmounted communication barriers that could have negatively affected her health.
This essay describes how a podcast inspired a physician’s new approach to complimenting patients and colleagues and the benefits gained.
In this narrative medicine essay, a pediatric oncologist grapples with the emotions of loss and guilt while attending the memorial service of her 8-year-old patient.
In this narrative medicine essay, an internist becomes sensitized to the harshness of inside medical language when the expression bounce back is applied to her father’s return to the hospital shortly after his discharge.
This essay describes a palliative medicine physician’s experience with a dying patient and reflections on life.
This essay describes the author’s experience with the application of medical guidelines in the treatment of patients.
This essay describes the author’s experience of losing her father while in medical school.
In this essay, the author grapples with the possibility of a diagnosis of BRCA2.
In this narrative essay, a neonatologist describes the importance of giving patients the respect and space to decide the value of medical information themselves.
In this narrative medicine essay, an emergency medicine pediatrician describes the care his mother received in her last days and calls on the health care profession to aim for providing a personal touch when caring for patients.
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