An Open Letter to a Stethoscope Thief

By Kimberly Imperial

To Whom It May Concern,

I don’t know if we’ve met, but I hope this letter makes you feel guilty enough to return what you stole.

You were well aware of what you were doing. It’s not like my stethoscope was just lying on the bench by itself. It was sandwiched between my notebook and my logbook, both of which have my name in bold on the front cover. My stethoscope has my name on it too. It was a gift, you see. When I got into medical school my family took the time to research different brands of stethoscopes, found one in my favourite colour (burgundy), and had my name engraved on it. They gave it to me and told me how happy they were that I was a step closer to achieving my goal. They knew it hadn’t been an easy road.

I don’t know your name, but I have a few choice words to describe you. I have a particular distaste for people who believe that they can take what isn’t theirs. To you that stethoscope is just another tool, a piece of tubing and metal to hang around your neck. To me, it is both an essential tool and a representation of my family’s love and support. It has sentimental value — something you would have no clue about. Sure, I could get a new one (and let’s face it, the chances of you reading this letter are so small that I will probably have to), but it won’t mean the same to me as the one you stole.

So please, just return my stethoscope. You don’t even have to face me, just leave it at the hospital’s reception or something. But if I see you with it around your neck, I won’t hesitate to take it back.


Kimberly Imperial

P.S. Did you have to take my pen too? I’m a full-time student. I can’t afford to fork out money for pens and stethoscopes. I hope the ink leaks all over your hands, you bastard.

Feature image by user Rainerzufall1234 at Wikimedia Commons.

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