All Poetry

The Flawed Physician.

She stands facing a closed door.

Your door.

As her gaze converges onto
enameled surface, she notes its
texture- the evenness a comfort to
a moment of hesitation within.

Smooth and finished–flowing
imprints mapping the course of
fine fibers swept over timber.


She makes a move to knock,
but her hand pauses,
and for a moment she wonders
whether you will find her pleasant.

Whether she will be worthy of your trust.
Whether you will believe in her.

Because she is flawed.

Like veneer upon wooden door, she
is but a polished version of herself.

As she again surveys its exterior,
she is let in upon a different truth–
that from underneath the surface
the grain peeks through, coarse
and jagged, its valleys exposed,
blemish revealed, age betrayed.
It is but fresh lacquer upon a
damaged interior, eroded and
frayed by the stress of time.

Like a white coat to the skin,
it cloaks the imperfection
and vulnerability of that
which lies beneath.

A coat enshrouding
scars of personal defeats–
An awareness
of critical introspection while
striving to exhibit confidence and certainty.
A struggle
to remain objective while
craving to empathize with you.
A hunger
to continue feeling through perpetual
immersion into death and suffering,
while self-preservation casts increasingly

impenetrable layers of emotional shield.
And a fear
of not doing enough, while similarly
recognizing the peril of doing too much.

But as her knuckles meet the door,
she is reminded of an oath–taken
at the dawn of this journey–
an oath of compassion, of
integrity, of humility–

an oath to do no harm.

So as she enters
your room,

she smiles–
for she never forgot its
concluding admonition:

That one would never lose the joy of helping others.

Therefore as an imperfect human being,
she will do her best to ease your suffering,
treat your illness, be your advocate–
Not because it is her obligation,
but because this is her love–

To help her fellow man.

To care for you.

•      •      •

“…may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

-Oath of Hippocrates

•      •      •


55 replies »

  1. Wow, who wouldn’t be blessed to have such a “thought-full” , sensitive and caring doctor. We are always on the other side of the door, hoping and praying that you are exactly THAT, hoping it is personal enough for you to make the extra effort to comfort, reassure and share your valuable knowledge. As I get older, I realize more than ever the in-exact science of medicine and that ” one size ” does not fit all. It is wonderfully reassuring to read your words today. Oddly, I called my wife’s doctors group today to ask why we have not heard the results of her blood test 11 days ago. They couldn’t find the test or give me an answer, but assured me they would call me back in 30 minutes.That was 8 hours ago and they have closed for the day now. I know these things can happen, but still…. I know when it is time to find a new doctor like PuppyDoc ! Thanks for restoring my faith today ! 🙂

    • Aww thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I like to think that all us physicians mean well…we all go into the profession with a compassionate heart (I hope)…but maybe things along the way cause us to slowly change… I hope in the future all your encounters will turn out to be a positive one! 🙂 Have a great day! 😀

  2. Wow, this is deeply deeply moving. I have never seen a doctor write like this before, and it is also beautiful poetry. Thank you for being filled with compassion.

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