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.
In this narrative medicine essay, a pediatric ophthalmologist recalls his trip back to his parents’ house to help his father die and contrasts his death with the energetic, robust life his father lived.
In this narrative medicine essay, an internal medicine intern with metastatic osteosarcoma tells what it is like to be a patient facing a grave disease and explains that she needs commitment, empathy, and presence from her physicians.
In this essay, an internal medicine physician describes caring for a patient who became one of the city’s top medical care users after becoming homeless.
In this essay, the author reflects on lessons learned from a patient with metastatic lung cancer who wanted to have a baby.
In this Arts and Medicine feature, a blood transfusion pathologist recounts her obsession with indie rock band Vampire Weekend and the relevance of the group’s music and work to her life and growth as a physician.
In this narrative medicine essay, a clinical educator uses her experiences enduring the aftermath of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia to reflect on the difference between physician-teachers and patients’ experience of illness and to locate meaning in what she can offer her colleagues and trainees despite persistent disability.
In this narrative medicine essay, a married pair of pediatricians share the story of the loss of their first pregnancy, the compassionate care they received, the challenges those around them faced in offering consolation, and, ultimately, the successful pregnancies that brought children to their family.
In this essay, an oncologist’s describes how he uses the concept of positive deviance and Kaplan-Meier curves in face of treatment obstacles that seem insurmountable.
In this narrative medicine essay, a psychiatrist describes the defenses he uses against the emotional toll of long days of patient care and recalls a traumatic childhood memory that helps him understand his patients’ fears and anxieties and those of their families.
This personal narrative describes a physician’s experience of preparing a video of an echocardiogram for the child of a dying parent.
This essay describes a visit to a library in the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière in Paris, France, that houses the works of Jean-Martin Charcot and several other scientists who contributed to early insights into neurology.
This article describes the experiences of a first-year oncology fellow’s experience as he treats his first patient.
This essay describes a difficult conversation between a physician and her son on his diagnosis of diabetes.
This Arts and Medicine feature describes use of author Jamaica Kincaid’s short story “Girl” in narrative medicine workshops to help residents explore hierarchies and the challenges of growing up professionally in their medical training programs.
In this narrative medicine essay, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician shares her experience parenting her youngest daughter, deaf from exposure to congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) and the joys and struggles guiding the care and development of a child with hearing impairment.
This Perspective describes the role of caregivers and how they work with physicians in caring for patients.
In this narrative medicine essay, a gastroenterologist describes the challenge of diagnosing a partner in his clinic with pancreatic cancer, which came a day short of the median time patients present and are diagnosed with the disease, and reflects on the positive example his colleague had on him, his career, and on the other physicians working at the clinic.
This essay describes the author’s challenges in predicting treatment courses for patients.
In this narrative medicine essay, an obstetrician-gynecologist struggles with the overwhelming strains of her profession, family obligations, and struggling marriage that together buried her sense of empathy until a grateful patient hugs her, an expression that reaches what she feared had been long extinguished.
This essay describes the wisdom and insights gained while treating a woman with metastatic lung cancer.
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