Not Dying Alone

She cried out, “Mother, mother! Don’t leave me!” I had recently concluded our visit and was walking away when Ms. B began to wail these words. My throat tightened, and I was compelled to return to sit with her. Drawing on the volunteer training, I investigated her feelings by asking a few questions. Ms. B … Continue reading “Not Dying Alone”

Dying As a Story

After nearly one academic year of participating in this hospice program, there is one event that stands out to me the most. It was the first patient assigned to me that lived with her husband and was in the late stages of Parkinson’s. She could not speak nor move, however, she was aware of her … Continue reading “Dying As a Story”

Death as Part of Life

Growing up, I had only been exposed to one particular physician image; the hero doctor. As a child, the carefully constructed representation of physicians as miracle workers was very appealing. The doctor was the champion of life, prolonging it and saving it, always resulting in smiles and joy from families and patients. I desperately wanted … Continue reading “Death as Part of Life”

Sparkling in the End

I had never thought about death and how people should spend the time in the end deeply before participating in this program. It is always very difficult to relate myself to death and even relate death to anything else. But now, I feel I can count the steps of death and depict the anxious approaching … Continue reading “Sparkling in the End”

Death as a Friend

In our orientation meeting we chose some words we identified death with. I chose the word “friend”. I felt that death can be a wave of relief, an exit from pain, and can be a friend to those nearing it. In my hospice volunteer experience, I learned a few more things. Death comes often and … Continue reading “Death as a Friend”

Caring for the Dying

Caring for the Dying An excerpt from my untitled poem about my hospice experience: You are dying But you are still living Que sera sera All this time, we lived parallel lives. But for the past 8 months, our lives intersected every Saturday. Since the start of the Pre-med Hospice Program, I have visited one … Continue reading “Caring for the Dying”

Definition of time

Dr. Lucy Kalanithi said, “We’re at this weird point in history where we have all this technology and the impulse is to keep using it, even if it’s at times creating more suffering” (Prompt). As a future surgeon, I truly believed, and still do believe, that innovation and technology progresses the world we live in … Continue reading “Definition of time”

Making Connections

If you had asked me last October whether I would consider going into geriatric medicine or working exclusively with those who were dying when I became a physician, I would have said no – too depressing. Obviously, the work is valuable and important, but it is more suited for those who would be willing to … Continue reading “Making Connections”

Hospice Reflection Essay

Volunteering for hospice has been an incredible experience. It has provided me with insight and knowledge in what it takes to work with people who are close to death. Before this experience, death was a hard topic to discuss. I understood it was an essential component of being a physician, but my patient experience with … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection Essay”

A Moment In Time With Ms. Kate

This past academic year, my senior research thesis topic for my chemistry major was on the synthesis of enzyme inhibitors as potential anti-cancer drugs. I had chosen to work on this project because I knew there could be a deeper purpose in the work that I did. I knew that if these compounds that I … Continue reading “A Moment In Time With Ms. Kate”