Between Two Faults

I.

It is a breezy day in Chicago and the light jackets are unzipped. In clear view is the public bus, a little over one block away from where three men stand.

II.

Every bus stop in the city of Chicago boasts its own microculture. Some stops, like major metropolitan cities, bustle at all times of the day. Others, far from schools or supermarkets, are more subdued and unassuming, often lacking an advertisement-heavy shelter to protect riders from the elements. And just like in any society or community, small and simple or otherwise, there are rules, and the first one answers this question: do you bunch in front of the bus door and anxiously pray for order, or do you form a line and wait your turn?

The answers vary and are often unpredictable. On one three block stretch down Lawrence Avenue just west of Albany Park, for example, the rule alternates between stops.

At Taylor and Ashland, where these three men have waited for many minutes now, you form a line, always.

Continue reading “Between Two Faults”

Beginnings

With me at all times is a pocket notebook filled with helpful medical knowledge: lists, strategic physical exam maneuvers, quick anatomical sketches, hospital-specific protocols. I reference this notebook almost daily, especially as exam time nears.

I have also amassed a stack of surgical gown pull-tabs, each littered with thoughts and observations from the day’s encounters. Sadly, I do not review or reference these paper cards nearly as often as I do my notebook. But medical care in the strict sense is only half of the treatment. These encounters, and the lessons I draw from them, deserve just as much attention. This website is a consolidation of these reflections and more.

I have three motivations for this website. The first is intentional. Writing is my creative outlet, and when a very cynical friend bet me that medicine would crush my creative spirit and drown my passions, I set out to prove him wrong.

The second is personal. Writing allows me to map my maturity and growth in terms of the way I think and express myself, how I perceive the world around me, and how, specifically, my experiences and observations in the field of medicine shape me.

The third is practical. Few careers that I can think of permit the raw connection that exists between patient and physician, but the vulnerabilities that exist on either side of this simultaneously professional and deeply personal relationship are not always confidently or thoughtfully explored. There is a lesson in every encounter. To me, they are worth exploring.

I hope you will find value in my reflections.