Tag Archives: healer

Julian Nguyen is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at McGill University

 

Monday morning; flu season. The attending respirologist has spent the whole weekend on call battling the symptoms of influenza, likely caught from one of our many afflicted patients. Swallowing a Tamiflu pill, he tells me how—despite a hectic shift in the emergency room—he managed to complete a major grant application for his next research project. His voice is hoarse from coughing and exhaustion lies around the corner, yet his determination to carry on is unshaken. I admire his fortitude while hating myself for lacking his sense of sacrifice.

Michel Foucault, in his seminal Naissance de la clinique (The Birth of the Clinic), highlights the primordial role physicians occupy in a society predicated on science. He sees in physicians (and priests) “les héritiers naturels des deux plus visibles missions de l’Église — la consolation des âmes et l’allègement des souffrances” (the natural heirs of the two most visible missions of the Church — the consolation of souls and the lessening of suffering). Western society’s obsession with youth and health has elevated physicians beyond mere technicians to all-encompassing healers, increasing the burden placed on aspiring doctors. ...continue reading

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Avina De Simone is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McGill University

 

I wish I would have known what it feels like to walk in your shoes.

I wish I would have known what it feels like live in your country.

I wish I would have known what it feels like to want to end my life.

I wish I would have known how to help you.

I had many doubts throughout my clerkship journey. I always wondered if I was truly helping others, or if my efforts would ever improve my patients’ quality of life. ...continue reading