When the weather changes

2019 Auricle Writing Competition First Prize

By Gizem Hasimoglu

Prompt: “How have your ideas and notions about being a doctor changed since starting medical school or entering clinical years?” 

 

When the weather changes, so do you.

The shaking off of leaves and the layering of dew,

The scorch marks of past fires and the blossoms of something new,

Medicine is like the weather – when it changes, so do you.

 

***

 Spring

 

Wide eyed, well dressed

Nervous butterflies fill the room

It’s your first day, no need to be stressed

‘Student doctor’ is your costume

 

Years of study have bought you here

Yet suddenly they seem so far

You have no idea what is to fear

You think you’ve passed the bar

 

It’s a new page, a fresh start

You take a deep breath and open the door

Excitement fills your heart

Looking around, you can’t wait to explore

 

Flashing lights, buzzing sounds

All the doctors seem to be saving lives

Magical seem the hospital grounds

You can’t wait to help someone survive

 

Summer

 

Wide smile, stethoscope around your neck

It’s a few weeks in and you’ve got the flow

You think you’re ready for a pay cheque

Yet you still can’t write notes, you’re way too slow

 

You know all the doctors by name

Although they don’t know you

You tell yourself you’re on the path to fame

And occasionally you get a free coffee too

 

Ward rounds and logbooks are becoming too easy

Although consultant questions still stop your breathing

At least you now know what to do when someone is wheezy

Perhaps maybe you should do some teaching

 

Patients think you’re important and first years idolise you

You can now hear murmurs, as long as they’re grade six

This is what it’s all for, you might finally help a few

Just stay away from hospital politics

 

Autumn

 

Tired eyes, looking defeated

Reality is slowly catching up to you

You’re feeling as if you’ve been cheated

You just can’t figure out by who

 

You reflect back on the start

Reminiscing about books with all the answers

As you stand here in front of endless patient charts

None of which seem to have curable cancers

 

The many lessons told about patients slowly fade

As they are replaced with the lessons taught by patients

The amount you know becomes outweighed

As the amount you don’t, begins to cause hesitation

 

The idealistic view of medicine you held so strongly

Starts to fade away like falling leaves

Slow at first but stripping you surely

As you feel the cold breeze you begin to grieve

 

Winter

 

Head low, shoulders down

The weight of the stethoscope begins to feel heavy

Patients look vulnerable in the hospital gown

And you no longer feel comfortable being so dressy

 

Only months left for ‘the brain tumour’ the doctors found

While ‘the murmur’ is struggling to breathe

You wonder what it will be like when it is the ground

Rather than the hospital sheets that they are beneath

 

When their families plead with their hopeful eyes

You no longer wish it was you they put their trust in

And when each of your sighs only amplifies their cries

Even a moments rest feels like sin

 

But this isn’t a hypothetical exam question

You realise there isn’t room for the unknown

When faced with a real life or death situation

The now empty patient beds make you feel alone

 

***

 

But do not despair for eventually Spring will return to you,

Summer, Autumn, and Winter too,

Life isn’t all about the daises, it’s about using what happens to renew,

That’s why medicine is like the weather – when it changes, so do you.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s