So Much More to Medicine

I miss that proximity to my colleagues.
I miss connecting with med students,

patients, families, physicians, staff,
and so many people I don’t even know yet.

As a teen, I volunteered at the hospital
and in special education classrooms.

The different worlds were intriguing –-
focused on supporting, helping, and serving.

In college, I grew interested in learning
about learning: what are we learning,

and what are we learning it for?
What’s the use beyond a test score?

Our medical profession is focused
on the grade, the rote outcome,

but now we’re realizing
there’s so much more to medicine

than memorization.
We need real connections

with people who offer space
to explore and discover

deep feelings and secret dreams,
who afford grace to one another,

who are caring and forgiving,
who feel restored by this

simple gift of listening,
who see beauty in art and humanity.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

“Our constituents are uniquely affected by the pandemic,” she said. She was an educational psychologist who missed working in person with med students, healthcare staff, and medical educators. “I worry about them a lot, and I’m always thinking about how my work can support them. I have this sort of luxury being able to work from home, but my colleagues don’t. I struggle with that because I want to be there but can’t be there. I’m trying to do my best working remotely, but I miss them.”

Interviewee: Anonymous, Administrator
Listener Poet: Ravenna Raven

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