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, an emergency medical physician describes the lasting physical symptoms of a mild case of COVID-19, the effects of the illness on his family and professional community, and the lessons he’s learned about caring for symptomatic patients with normal test results.
This article describes the care of a Jehovah’s Witness patient to highlight the importance of patient-centered care and shared decision-making when treating underrepresented populations at risk for stigmatization by the medical community.
This essay describes the author’s experience caring for his elderly parents and offers tips to others who are or will be caring for their parents as they age.
In this narrative medicine essay, an internist shares how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the work-life balance she had attained and how the metaphor of aortic dissection—shear forces tearing arterial layers apart, managed with blood pressure—gave her a means to imagine how to reduce the opposing forces in her life on the way toward equilibrium.
This essay describes how an act of kindness can restore one’s hope.
In this narrative medicine essay, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) clinician uses the resignation of BWH's president from Moderna's board of directors after a stock sale reportedly paying her millions to question why leaders of academic medical centers are allowed to develop lucrative relationships with industry that prioritize mutual profits over patient well-being and public health.
In this narrative medicine essay a cardiologist with a previously treated astrocytoma describes his thoughts and fears of managing a tumor recurrence when he experiences frightening symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This essay discusses the prevalence of medical jargon and how clinicians can consciously avoid jargon and work to improve communication with patients and their families.
This article describes the author’s experience of helping a family do everything they could, even administering an unapproved drug, for their teenage daughter.
In this essay, an experienced oncologist mourns the loss of personal connection with patients and their families that has resulted from the social distancing of the COVID-19 era.
This article describes a patient’s experience choosing medical aid in dying after living with an untreatable terminal illness.
This article shares the viewpoint of a Latina physician whose practice is motivated by her desire to serve Latino populations, including through translation services and during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
This article describes how a physician was able to connect with a patient while transitioning from in-person work to telemedicine during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic
This article assesses the loss of the physical examination amid telehealth visits during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
This essay discusses the need for more diversity in the physician workforce to benefit patients and society.
This article describes the use of the term got away with it (GAWI), to describe errors that result in no harm to patients in clinical practice.
In this narrative medicine essay, a surgical oncologist describes the erosion of her confidence when patients and colleagues question her abilities or ignore her contributions based on her diminutive stature and sex and suggests that colleagues offer encouragement and praise to help stay further damage.
This essay discusses the difficulties associated with mourning in the time of coronavirus 2019.
In this narrative medicine essay, a critical care pediatrician tells the story of knitting needle puncture in a 3-year-old boy’s chest that barely missed his main pulmonary artery, and wonders at the seemingly random difference between his operable injury and the alternative, seemingly equally probable fatal outcome.
In this narrative medicine essay a medical student describes similarities between a challenging high school wilderness isolation camping trip and her experience in isolation with and recovering from COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic in New York.
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