Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Students.

A medical school student accompanied me at the bedside of a little lady named Anna tonight. She is 92 years old and more cognitively "with it" than most. The initial discussion was concerning her symptoms of her recently diagnosed Pancreatic Cancer...not quite controlled. A plan of treatment was agreed upon when I then decided to teach my student the "True Art of Medicine".
I put her aged hand in mine and entered her world...at least in part.
She was born in 1916 and was happily married raising 3 children...all now significantly older than I. She spoke of a simple life well worth living and bragged heartily of her children's merits.
I listened to her and frequently caught the site of my student out of the corner of my eye...He listened with youthful ears. Youthful ears like sponges.
I asked Miss Anna what advice she had for the 2 young men that were at her bedside. She initially did not reply as if she was a bit embarassed to take "Center Stage."
A few simple commands she gave.
"Be Yourself." and "Do What You Do Well."
Nothing complicated or rehearsed....just 7 simple words from a little lady reviewing her life...at the end of it.
I think that both students heard clearly her advice.
Thank You Anna.




5 comments:

Sue said...

Fantastic entry. Fantastic. I used to work as an oncology nurse before my kiddos came along, and I sure do miss those moments with patients. It is amazing how a few words from a patient can change your views on a lot of things.

Sue

morgan said...

wow. this is amazing. Dr.Mashburn you just made my day. this story of pation and love, was just absolutely magnificent! i loved reading your story. anna seemed like a beautiful person to be with!

Darlene (SCS:akronstamperdpk) said...

Thanks Dr. M!! This really puts things into perspective doesn't it!! Well done my friend!! Thanks for sharing!!

jrmom said...

Thank you! You are always reminding me that God is always with us and using each of us in a unique way. Life...what an amazing gift we have been given.

joeisaac said...

Thanks Doc for sharing that special moment. Your student was very lucky that day to be able to learn from two honest and caring Professors. Hospice is lucky to have such a caring doctor such as you. Thank you my friend.