A brief format to be used when consulting with patients

A brief format to be used when consulting with patients

Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2018!

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

Season 1 : poem 4

Junior Hospital Physician Dr Chris Lowe reads A brief format to be used when consulting with patients by Glenn Colquhoun

A brief format to be used when consulting with patients

Glenn Colquhoun

The patient will talk.

The doctor will talk.

The doctor will listen while
the patient is talking.

The patient will listen while
the doctor is talking.

The patient will think that the doctor
knows what the doctor is talking about.

The doctor will think that the patient
knows what the patient is talking about.

The patient will think that the doctor
knows what the patient is talking about.

The doctor will think that the patient
knows what the doctor is talking about.

The doctor will be sure.
The patient will be sure.

The patient will be sure.
The doctor will be sure.

Shouldn’t hurt a bit, should it?

————-

Find out more about this poem at the Scottish Poetry Library

Rights: A brief format to be usd when consulting with patients from Playing God: Poems about medicine (Steele Roberts, 2002) 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/

These are the Hands

These are the Hands

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

Season 1 : poem 3

Clinical Teaching Fellow Dr Robert Humphreys reads These are the Hands by Michael Rosen

These are the Hands

Michael Rosen

These are the hands
That touch us first
Feel your head
Find the pulse
And make your bed.

These are the hands
That tap your back
Test the skin
Hold your arm
Wheel the bin
Change the bulb
Fix the drip
Pour the jug
Replace your hip.

These are the hands
That fill the bath
Mop the floor
Flick the switch
Soothe the sore
Burn the swabs
Give us a jab
Throw out sharps
Design the lab.

And these are the hands
That stop the leaks
Empty the pan
Wipe the pipes
Carry the can
Clamp the veins
Make the cast
Log the dose
And touch us last.

Rights: ‘These Are The Hands’, © Michael Rosen, used by permission of United Agents on behalf 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/

A Medical Education

A Medical Education

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

Season 1 : poem 2

Medical Demonstrator Iuliana Kanya reads A Medical Education by Glenn Colquhoun

A Medical Education

Glenn Colquhoun

for Dr Peter Rothwell

In obstetrics I learnt that a woman opens swiftly like an elevator door.
The body wriggles free like people leaving an office on a wet afternoon.

In medicine I learnt that the body is the inside of a watch.
We hunch carefully over tables with blunt instruments.

In paediatrics I learnt that the body is a bird.
I leave small pieces of bread in fine trails.

In geriatrics I saw that the neck becomes the shape of an apple core.

In intensive care I discovered that the body is a number.
The sick sweat like schoolboys studying maths before a test.

In orthopaedics I found that the body can be broken.
Bones make angles under skin as though they were part of a collapsed tent.

In anaesthetics I saw people hang on narrow stalks like ripe apples.

But in the delivery suite I learnt to swear.

from Playing God: Poems about medicine (Steele Roberts, 2002)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher

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/

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Welcome! In this project we will be posting videos of medics reading poetry from the anthology Tools of the Trade: Poems for doctors published by Scottish Poetry Library and distributed to graduating doctors.  we hope that each reading will provide a seed for informal discussion in a Facebook group set up for this purpose, managed by a group of highly experienced medics.  You can find out more about the project here.

For our very first post we are delighted to have a reading by poet and GP, Martin MacIntyre of his title poem for the collection Tools of the Trade.  As we intend to do for all of the poems we post, we’ve arranged permission to publish both a video reading and the text of the poem below.

Tools of the Trade

New doctors will be empowered by poems
in the pockets of their metaphorical white coats.
There at the ready:
on early, sweaty, scratchy, ward rounds
to deploy while waiting patiently for the consultant’s
….late appraisal;
give filing, phlebotomy and form-filling an edge
….and depth;
sweeten tea-breaks as if with juxtaposed Jaffa Cakes
to answer that persistent bleep – while sneaking a pee,
to travel the manic crash and flat-lined emptiness of
….cardiac arrest
thole the inevitability of the inevitable;
to pace with careful cadence;
stop and breathe usefully
arrive ready not to recite by rote;
to be alone with on the boisterous bus home
to txt anxious Mums and Dads – ‘Are you remembering
….to feed yourself?’
‘YES. LOL. Smiley-face – perhaps a frog?’
to place strategically on the cup-ringed cabinet – first
….night on-call,
thrust under the sun-torn pillow on the morning
….following the first night on-call
find undisturbed, but at a different verse, following the
….jumpy party, following the first night on-call
to steal insights into the science of nurses’ smiles
to prepare for change.
To take a full history, examine closely and reach a
….working diagnosis: ‘You are a human being.’
…..‘The stars sing as whitely as the mountains.’
To investigate with prudence.
To reconsider the prognosis in the light of better-quality
….information
To appreciate; pass-on; ponder
challenge, relinquish,
allow, accept
be accosted by dignity.
To forgive and free.

Martin MacIntyre

by permission of the author

Do you recognize any of the experiences or situations that Martin’s poem describes?

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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