by Allen Shih In the well-lit room, students bustled, Dressed in scrubs, holding scalpels, and clutching Netters. Not one spoke, but some did pray. Today was the day. With swift broad strokes of knives, we cut into the flesh. Like lawyers on cross-examination, sifting through layers of muscles, we tagged hidden nerves and camouflaged vessels. Beyond donning the white coat on stage, Beyond the first patient hailing “bye doc!” Beyond spending time alone with terminally-ill patients, Anatomy taught us our first patient. Enshrined in a place of learning, A still woman with prominent cheekbones lay, With slender hands as cold as ice. Her blue eyes squinted into the night. Author … Continue reading


Book Review: Room for Examination

Reviewed by: Dr. David Elpern I have had an interest in books about medical training for many years and have read a score or so on this topic.  Those that stand out are, William Nolan’s “The Making of a Surgeon1,” Perri Klass’ “A Not Entirely Benign Procedure2” and Fitz Mullan’s “White Coat, Clenched Fist.”  To this exclusive canon, I now add James Channing Shaw’s new book, “Room for Examination: True Tales of a Disillusioned Dermatologist” which chronicles the path from naïf to dermatologist. It is wise, philosophical, honest, poignant, humorous, engagingly written, never self-serving and riveting.  Shaw is Division Head of Dermatology at the Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada. … Continue reading

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