Jefferson’s Children

by Maureen Hirthler “If you don’t do something right now, I’m going to hurt my children.” Standing at the window of the police station, this is what you say. The policewoman comes out to get you, hand resting casually on the taser at her waist, … [Read more...]

Days of the Giants

by Madaline Harrison Days of the giants. When I was in training, the attendings used that phrase, often after telling a story from earlier days in medicine, describing a harrowing night on call or a now-legendary professor who could pull a … [Read more...]

Bok Choy

by Valerie Borey My sister-in-law had offered to help me chop vegetables in the kitchen, ferret eyes behind wire-rimmed glasses sizing me up. “Do you know how to chop bok choy?” I giggled. “Like celery, I think.” And Betsy, who never smiled and … [Read more...]

Dad Died

by N. West Moss When I was little, Dad would get into the car and say, “Let’s get lost.” “OK,” I’d shout, sitting up in the front seat next to Dad, where kids were allowed back then, no seat belts required. At each intersection he’d ask, … [Read more...]

Edgar Degas’s Eyes

by Zeynel A. Karcioglu, MD and David A. Eliason, MD Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the eminent French painter, struggled throughout much of his life with a serious eye … [Read more...]


by Marian Pierce She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door. She said good morning in Japanese to the man waiting beside the stretcher, and his smile and deep bow eased her fear. She lay on the … [Read more...]

Baby in the Closet

by Marianna Crane I heard the soft hum of oxygen flowing into a tented crib as I made my way down the corridor of the pediatric unit. From another room, a child barked a wet cough. I stopped in front of the linen closet and flicked on my … [Read more...]

Second Time Around

In late January, 1967, three months after my back had been broken in a car accident, the radiologist and orthopedic surgeon decided I could move gradually from being prone to upright and walking.  First I had to sit on the side of the bed, dangling … [Read more...]


“I’m worried.” “What are you worried about?” I asked. Mr. Jones was a sixty-five year old veteran teetering between living and dying, more dying than living. I knew it, and he knew it. A cancer had eaten his liver and seeded his abdomen, and … [Read more...]

The Low Talker

          I suppose this story really begins when several months ago I noticed bubbles in my urine.  Not all the time, but occasionally.  What alerted me was a story in the New York Times weekday edition.  I never considered bubbles before reading … [Read more...]