Student Humanities Blog

headshotAdam Mosa
Queen's University
Class of 2018

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.00.37 AM Charcoal on paper.

This drawing was inspired by recent discussions with classmates on achieving balance during medical studies.

Fatmah AlzahraniFatmah Alzahrani
Dalhousie University
Class of 2017

My head is pounding
From long nights without sleep,
My remedy is to punch through,
Hoping to find the good memories I used to keep.

It’s getting harder to reset the darkness in my mind.
Yet I plaster a weak smile,
I hope it looks genuine and kind.

Cause there are still people to be seen,
And oh so many things to do.
It will never end, it will never do.

They tell me what to do,
And I yearn to learn,
But my constant worry,
Makes it easy to burn.

The inferno that passed,
Is quickly extinguished.
All for a possibility of becoming distinguished.

When I was young,
They said it would happen one day,
But one day has arrived; the clock has swung.

Shouldn’t I be happy?
Shouldn’t I be glad?

For helping with health,
In addition to earning wealth!

One of those eternal evenings,
It repeated what was rife.
We are mere mortal beings,
So it’s a life for a life!
It will never end, it will never do;
until my time is due.

Brandon Tang PhotoBrandon Tang
University of Toronto
Class of 2018

In the same way that you should not buy a lottery ticket and expect to win, you should not become a scientist and anticipate a Nobel Prize. There are countless brilliant scientists in the world and winning the highest prize that science has to offer requires a delicate combination of good fortune, hard work—and what else? This past summer, I sought to discover the answer to this question.

...continue reading

1 Comment

Beatric Preti 2Beatrice Preti
McMaster University
Class of 2017

I hate the way some people die
When no one's there to scream or cry
I hate the way they die alone
As I stand nearby, face turned to stone
I know I can't cry when they die
I shouldn't feel this. It isn't right. ...continue reading


Mei WenMei Wen
University of Toronto
Class of 2019

I wish I could say what I learned in class prepared me for this conversation, but unfortunately, it did not.

Moments after completing an online module at home titled “Health and Homelessness” for the Community, Population & Public Health course as part of the pre-clerkship curriculum at the University of Toronto, I stumbled across who I thought was a homeless child - a small, skinny figure in a hoodie, with a Tim Hortons cup placed in front.

...continue reading

Laura SchepLaura Schep
Dalhousie University
Class of 2017

“I don’t want these anymore,” I say, avoiding my doctor’s gaze as I reach into my purse and retrieve the pill bottle, half empty. Or half full, depending on how you look at it. I place it on her desk. She looks from the bottle to me, her expression curious, no doubt wondering where to go from here. She expected to do my Pap test today, perhaps give me a flu shot, but did not anticipate this: a discussion about my antidepressants.

She asks me to explain. She asks whether the meds have helped with my mood. “Oh yes, ...continue reading

Rhea D'CostaRhea D'Costa
McMaster University
Class of 2016

The following short poem was inspired by the mounting frustration that senior medical students feel around the most wonderful time of the year – CaRMS applications season! If only there were evidence-based treatment guidelines for writer’s block… ...continue reading

1 Comment

ben_headshotBenjamin Huang
University of British Columbia
Class of 2017

This piece was written as reflection on the author’s rural family medicine experience.




s is for sechelt.

s is for sunday arrivals and saturday departures. for seven thirty ferries, sun decks, and sightseeing at sea.

s is for surprises, for stairs to a fireplace and floors of dark mahogany wood. s is for setting tables and chairs and settling in. ...continue reading


Mary KoziolMary Koziol
McGill University
Class of 2018

I notice him several times as I hurry past, wondering to myself what his story could be. He’s quite an old man, at least in his 80s. From a distance, I see two bulging black eyes, his face a mess of dripping blood. He’s observing the hustle of the ER with the expression of an accidental spectator at a cricket match: curious, but evidently a bit lost. I read the chart as I stride towards him: tripped and fell forward onto his face. Lives alone in a retirement home. On blood thinners.

...continue reading

Simone Banh
McMaster University
Class of 2016

On inspection
I first notice your blonde locks
Bouncing as you take your seat
Face nestled in your foster mother's embrace
Blue eyes wide, stained from tears
Pale skin contrasting against your dark past
Gone from a home you knew so well
Loving parent turned into stranger
And there I saw my childhood friend

On percussion I hear
Empty walls still echoing with shouts and screams
Trying to survive each dismal day
Careless acts, naivety, unintentional neglect
Poor attachment and security
Siblings separated, joined and split again
But still you miss the walls you called home
And there I saw my childhood friend

On palpation I feel
Your grasp, trying to take the wheel
Each time a crash into flames
Explosive whispers crescendo into war of words
Years will pass and wounds will heal
Only snapshots in your box of memories
A new life is writing itself
The pen held by the powers that be
And there I saw my childhood friend

On auscultation I hear
The lessons you will learn and utmost care you will receive
But deep inside you still feel like an outsider
Fears that your time is limited
Conditional roof, pitied sympathy
And in my childhood friend I see your future

With my assessment I predict your plan
To turn away, start a new life
Leaving behind the pieces of your past
I hope you too will find what you need
Reflect on what you want
And find your happiness like my childhood friend