We Built an Airplane Together (While It was Flying)

I’m so proud of my students.
They did their first year of clinical
in the first pandemic in 100 years.

Everything shut down for 10 weeks
at the start of their semester.
They gave rides,
took care of others’ kids.
Took food to people.
Spearheaded turning an empty hotel
into housing for the homeless.

They did it with grace and mercy.

They took care
…..of each other
……….and society.

They are amazing.

When I’m 90, I want to remember
…..what it was like.
Teaching these caring,
…..care-giving students.

It was a beautiful thing.

…..My job.
……….My joy.

I love what I do.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

An endocrinologist, she taught 3rd year medical students in their first year of clinical training in addition to seeing patients. During this big transition from the classroom to clinical, they need some care and nurturing. For some this was a difficult time; 2020 was additionally difficult as it interrupted their training at the start of the semester.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Katherine Gekker

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