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, the author flickers in 55-word scenarios through the life of his father who came to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee through his own life working with refugee children as a youth and now as a physician to reflect that the best of who he is resulted from his father seeking a better life.
In this narrative medicine essay, a medical student is reminded of Communion service at her New England Protestant church when she sees the beauty of the human anatomy in a cadaver, a former teacher who offered her body as the ultimate teaching moment, in an echo of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper: “This is my body, broken for you. Do this in memory of me.”
In this narrative medical essay, an internist offers three basic lessons not taught in medical school that he learned about practicing medicine based on his experiences from a patient with whom he has built a trusting relationship over the years.
In this article, the authors argues that parents’ use of the word buddy as a term of endearment might be detrimental to their children.
This article describes the experience of a physician in the Netherlands who has performed euthanasia at the request of a patient.
This essay describes a clinician’s insights after a personal conversation with a new patient about the questions that most patients do not ask.
This essay describes the opportunity physicians have to connect with patients as they undergo a sheath hold.
In this narrative medicine essay, the author considers the words used to describe the tension between shouldering the complex and painful realities of patients while simultaneously facing equally complex and painful family matters—burnout, balance, self-care—inadequate in helping physicians regain equilibrium.
This narrative medicine essay explores the difference between understanding a dire prognosis and believing it.
This personal essay recounts the lethal cardiac event of a first-year medical student’s landlord and downstairs neighbor.
In this narrative medicine essay, a medical student reflects on the way that bad news, whether shared with humanity or as a bungled communication, affects how the person on the receiving end reacts, grieves, and moves forward.
In this narrative medicine essay, a pediatrician returns to the hospital after riding his bicycle home against a strong headwind to evaluate a neonate with a congenital heart defect and later reflects on whether medical payment for service motivates health care clinicians.
This From the Heart describes a patient with fibrosis who remained her primary advocate through her end of life.
In this Cancer Chronicle, an oncologist relates using the insights gained from his own child’s cancer death to guide decision making and help a patient’s family understand the benefit of opting against further therapy.
This essay discusses a husband and wife’s recovery from hemineglect.
This article explores the experience of a physician advocate in communicating about end-of-life care and physician-assisted suicide with a patient with stage 4 lung cancer.
In this narrative medicine essay, an oncologist empathizes with a patient who upon learning that her cancer had returned asks about fertility preservation, a wish for children that mirrored the oncologists own desire for children after several miscarriages.
In this narrative medicine essay, an internist speculates about the perfect specialty in moments of confusion over nonspecified illnesses and concludes that all specialties involve scientific imprecision.
This article discusses the bravery of an elderly cancer patient from Finland who had sisu, a Finnish word to describe ferocity and tenacity.
In this medical narrative essay, the author recounts how he transforms oversights of patient evidence while making a diagnosis has helped him develop a strategy to use worry to his advantage.
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