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 hospitalist resists accepting as normal the deep economic desparities among the children living in poverty even if she is at risk of burnout.
In this narrative medicine essay, a young physician diagnosed with stage III kidney cancer realized with the progressive loss of systems and organs through treatment that he grew to identify with Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, about a tree who gives the boy it loves every part of itself until as a stump all it can offer the now old man is a seat.
In this narrative medicine essay, a geriatric and palliative care physician shares his understanding that the patience, flexibility, humility, and presence required to grow a garden are entirely appropriate for end-of-life patient care.
This article explores the importance of goals of care discussions between clinicians and patients before setting a do-not-resuscitate order or administering CPR.
This personal essay describes a transformation of perspective during a neonatology rotation.
This personal narrative shares insights gleaned after the author’s father, a patient with Parkinson disease, experiences a cervical spine fracture that mandates a complicated hospitalization.
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 narrative medicine essay, a physician and her family struggle with their mother’s intention to continue chemotherapy when treatment will cause more harm than good.
This personal essay describes the ways in which an excessive focus on electronic health records can lead physicians to behave in ways that mimic the symptoms of autistic spectrum disorders.
This personal essay recounts an example of the complexities of informed consent.
In this narrative medicine essay, an intensivist tells how he and his colleagues joined in a moment of silence to honor the ICU death of a man under their care with a do-not-resuscitate order.
This Perspective describes a Vietnam veteran with posttraumatic stress disorder including a debilitating startle response refractory to treatment.
In this narrative medicine essay, a young doctor describes her experience breast pumping and breastfeeing during her intern year.
This essay describes the author’s experiences with inappropriate behavior by patients and their families and proposes techniques to overcome this challenge when treating these patients.
This essay describes the process of coming to an understanding of grief following the death of a family member who had cancer.
In this narrative medicine essay, the author, who transitioned from paper and pen to computer-generated electronic health record keeping, wonders whether self-select menu items on the EHR ultimately dehumanize both the patient and the physician.
This Perspective uses an end-of-life care vignette to illustrate the need to clarify the meaning of the term comfort care.
This From the Heart describes a resident balancing his health issues with a pacemaker and clinical responsibilities.
This article discusses a community support group for patients with neuroendocrine tumors, and learning to build trust as a team.
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.
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