from Ultrasound

from Ultrasound

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 5

Consultant Radiologist and Year 2 Lead at the University of Aberdeen Medical School Prof Alan Denison reads from Ultrasound by Kathleen Jamie.

from Ultrasound

Kathleen Jamie

for Duncan

Rights: rights to reprint this poem here are pending

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The First Death

The First Death

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 4

Dr Ourania Varsou, Lecturer in Anatomy at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow, reads The First Death by Andrea Wershof Schwartz.

The First Death

Andrea Wershof Schwartz

I was surprised
how quickly
his body turned cold
so soon after
the terrifying task
listening to the emptiness with my stethoscope to pronounce

the first death

how wide his eyes under my penlight
unblinking
how heavy his wrist, how still

how easily tears flowed when the routine of death
the autopsy request
the certificate for the morgue
was punctuated by
a sigh
for the hole left in his family

how much his kids look like him

Rights: by permission of the author

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

The Precious 10 Minutes

The Precious 10 Minutes

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 3

Prof Rona Patey, Consultant Anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Medical Education Lead at the University of Aberdeen reads The Precious 10 Minutes by Hamish Whyte

The Precious 10 Minutes

Hamish Whyte

The GP stands at the door of his room,
shakes my hand, asks me how I am.
I always smile and say fine, except for…
this niggling problem
or I’m just here for a checkup
or a repeat prescription
or something.

He listens.
He’s a cautious man, gets me tested
just in case: ‘Let’s be sure.’

He sounds me out about an ongoing condition:
if I can live with it
he can live with it.
‘As long as you can do the things
you want to do.’
He knows I’m a worrier.

I don’t feel rushed.
It’s a conversation.
It all seems as it should be.

Rights: by permission of the author

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

Talking to the Family

Talking to the Family

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 2

Dr Lynn Urquhart, Infectious Diseases and Acute Medicine Consultant at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, reads Talking to the Family by John Stone

Talking to the Family

John Stone

My white coat waits in the corner
like a father.
I will wear it to meet the sister
in her white shoes and organza dress
in the live of winter,

the milkless husband
holding the baby.

I will tell them.

They will put it together
and take it apart.
Their voices will buzz.
The cut ends of their nerves
will curl.

I will take off the coat,
drive home,
and replace the light bulb in the hall.

Rights: from ‘Talking to the Family’ from Music from Apartment 8: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2004 Reprinted with the permission of Louisiana State University Press

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

The Eye Chart

The Eye Chart

I’m delighted to launch Season 4 of Poems for Doctors online. For this season I’ve been out and about, filming readers from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen. I hope that, over the next few weeks, you’ll enjoy listening to them as much as I have meeting them! The first reading is from one of the new authors included the new third edition of ‘Tools of the Trade’, Glasgow based poet Nuala Watt(@steveDsmart)

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 1

Poet Dr Nuala Watt reads her own poem The Eye Chart

The Eye Chart

Nuala Watt

T

H   E

E Y E

C H A R T

I scowl towards his voice. He says the map
marks how far vision goes. If I could creep

up close I’d learn the journey. His technique
restricts me to a chair so he can track

how far I travel down the chart alone
before I pause. I grope in the third line –

my limit the next shape I recognize –
then stop. No way. I still believe my eyes

can hold a solar system, catch all the lights,
deliver to the doctor alphabets

as small as atoms. But this world is smudge.
I’m huddled at the bottom of the page,

trying to hide my dark. Wherever I am,
I’ve bypassed every symbol I can name

and stumble at my vision’s borders
where letters are illegible as stars.

Rights: by permission of the author

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

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