Fears and worries

Almost everyone in the medical field has, at some time or another, fallen prey to the “Medical Student Syndrome” – the association of some visceral sensation or perceived symptom to a recently studied disease, usually serious or fatal. Doctors, including myself, have all suffered some agonizing moments after convincing ourselves of the existence of some suspected catastrophe that was about to become manifest regarding our personal health, until a reassuring lab test (and /or colleague) dispels our fears. Perhaps some of you have had similar experiences. With this background, allow me to offer you the following poem:




While jogging, I perceived a light

fixed in my gaze at lower right.


A softly strobing stellate spot,

a smudge my eyelids couldn’t blot.


The first cause I hypothesized:

my sunglasses were polarized.


I took them off, the spot stayed still:

its source must be inside my skull.


I closed one eye, and then the next.

It stayed, which placed it in my cortex.


Could God be playing some cruel joke?

A migraine? Seizure? Tumor? Stroke?


While wondering which one I most feared,

quite mercifully, it disappeared.


Clayton J. Baker

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Fears and worries

  1. Beth says:

    Thank you for this lighthearted post.  I enjoyed it.

  2. David says:

    I dated a nursing student in college, and although she didn\’t seem to fall victim to the syndrome (her dad was a doc), lots of her colleagues came down with rare and fearsome symptoms – one even passed out a few times at odd moments.  It was kind of funny…  Good poem, by the bye.  I myself am not immune from this syndrome, to be honest.  Just let a new and horrid disease appear in the news, and I am spending a day or two checking to see if my flesh is being eaten or is suppurating or whatever.  I have kind of settled on Lyme disease, since it lets me lie about a lot…

  3. Hope says:

    well what ever your fear was or is.. I hope that its not anything that can\’t be fixed.fitting poemsoft hugsHope

  4. dying2die says:

    hi hi
    my sis is a doc ohh My goodness you remind of sumthing
    i cant stop laughing.. seriously yes she had once upon a time…
    it was like she was on Iron tablets and her faeces got a lill Reddish and she was all upset and screaming. she was like she had internal bleeding and was having blood in her feaces. my mom and i got ready and all of a sudden t clicked my mom tat my sis was on iron tablets…. lol… what a laugh…
    anyways.. well written poem.. regards

  5. J says:

    Oh no! I\’ve seen that light.

  6. Michelle says:

    What a great entry! So far, I have not came down with any of the diseases I am studying BUT I do think it is hard not to get nervous when you see some tell-tale sign of a disease on YOU. LOL Usually it does turn out to be harmless.
    I am about to start Pharmacology in class. I just finished Mastering Medical Language. I have flashcards and an excel file with tabs by systems etc. to try and retain the terminology. There are so many terms and abbreviations. WOWEE!
    I admire you and your wife so much!

  7. Neora Chana says:

    Counseling students go through it, too…..thanks for the memories!

  8. sweeti's says:

    seems that
    having knowledge can give u the shivers lol
    the poem is perfect …I will use ur words
    with a poem it enhances the impact
    Enjoy ur sunday Jorge
    love for u and ur family
    ps…I will ask our docs.at work abt this syndrome.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for your  words about my post…*smiling*
    Sometimes when I\’m walking and trip, I take the entire scenerio all the way thru: trip, fall, busted head, blood, ambulance, hospital, …yeah — I do that all the time *laughing* just from a simple trip

  10. redvelvet says:

    Enjoyed catching up on your recent posts… Maybe there is a little hypocondriac in all of us from time to time… 🙂

  11. Gelert says:

    Jorge, I missed you. Whenever I come here, you lift me. The chicken thing was wonderful, made me laugh, and this was great – I frequently have myself written off. In the past, I\’d just ask Dad – he always knew exactly what was what, or not. Now he\’s not here, I just occasionally drown in medical paranoia.
    Thanks Mate.

  12. KatSoup says:

    ha ha What a good entry.  I am going to C&P.

  13. Zeynep says:

    I enjoyed the poem. And thanks for stopping by and the good wishes.
    Love and peace, Zeynep xx

  14. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  I know the feeling.  Still need some "work" done but am going to try and make it through the Holiday Season.  Thank you for the visit and for your comments.
    As ever be well,
    Stephen Craig Rowe

  15. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
    Thanks for the poetry and the memory.  When my first husband was in graduate school, we lived in a low cost housing complex that was populated by graduate students and medical students.  One of the medical students suffered greatly from this syndrome and received very little sympathy from his neighbors.  The worst for self diagnosed maladies were psychiatry med students – we all stayed away from a couple of them.  Your poem helped me to remember what a difficult but fun time in our lives.  Thanks.

  16. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,
    Hmmmm, I could have sworn I had been by before and left a short comment. Oh well, I am here to wish you a wonderful weekend.
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  17. Holy says:

    They tell me it\’s hypochondria,Which beats having lypo on me jaw.(OK, perhaps I\’m not a medical poet, there\’s a disease for that, I just know it).

  18. Patricia says:

    it\’s all in the head…that\’s what they say…

  19. Jean says:

    I\’m glad you came by.. it\’s been too long since I have visited as well. I LOVE this one!! Nursing students also have this syndrome, and nurses are not immune. I have been through several bouts of it, myself!LOL

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