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 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.
This From the Heart describes a resident balancing his health issues with a pacemaker and clinical responsibilities.
In this narrative medicine essay, a palliative care physician realizes that her inability to tolerate discomfort felt by her preschool-aged daughter is a survival technique in reaction to her experience of grief for her dying patients and comes to an understanding that the 2 roles complement each other.
This Perspective discusses the approach of giving patients and families the opportunity for a meaningful talk before intubation, while patients are still able to communicate.
This Perspective compares the imperfect practice of medicine to the practice of magic and also draws lessons from the painting The Doctor by Luke Fildes.
This article discusses the difficult changes that patients may experience, even physicians who become patients.
In this Perspective, a young physician hears news of another physician’s suicide, prompting her to reflect on her own experience with depression as a medical student.
This article discusses the development of local health care partnerships in pediatric hospice care in rural regions.
This article discusses a case in which music was used as a platform for initiating a conversation on end-of-life care.
This essay describes the opportunity physicians have to connect with patients as they undergo a sheath hold.
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, a medical oncologist shares how little he understood of his patients’ pain and challenges while undergoing cancer treatment until his own diagnosis, which inspired working with administrators to help patients navigate the institutional labyrinth and provide transportation to and from treatment.
In this narrative medicine essay, a pediatrician recounts his struggle to work through his family’s beliefs about marriage and children and his own commitments to science exemplified by Darwin’s theory of natural selection as he and his husband began a family using an egg donor and in vitro fertilization.
In this narrative medicine essay, an anesthesiologist shares her grief and takes stock of what she has and loves after the loss of a young patient in the operationg room.
In this essay, a medical student reflects on his grandfather’s experience with stroke and the ways emotions and personal relationships affect a patient’s health.
In this narrative medicine essay, a pediatrician describes her descent into alcoholism as self-medication for complicated grief and the role the loss of her medical license and a support group for physicians with substance use disorders played in her recovery.
This Perspective describes the increasing pressures for achievement experienced by physicians as they start their careers and how this leads to neglect of the very qualities of inner character that need to be cultivated by physicians.
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