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Pectoriloquy |

Patient Interview–Nearing the End FREE TO VIEW

Ruri Ashida, MA
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Editor’s Note: “The poem tries to give voice to a patient in, what is supposed to be, “a patient-centered” interview. I did my graduate studies in English literature at the University of Toronto. Now I teach English to medical students at universities in Tokyo. I am interested in patient-doctor relationship and ethical issues.”

Editor’s Note: “The poem tries to give voice to a patient in, what is supposed to be, “a patient-centered” interview. I did my graduate studies in English literature at the University of Toronto. Now I teach English to medical students at universities in Tokyo. I am interested in patient-doctor relationship and ethical issues.”

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


Chest. 2011;140(6):1662. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0087
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Do you have any questions?
He asks,
patient-centered
an always-asked question
at the end of an interview.
He has clearly described to her the situation.
She has vaguely heard some words.
He is confident in his discourse.
She is unsure of her response.
Facts, in black and white, he has put down.
Reality, out of the blue, she has put aside.
He has explained with solid evidence.
She has heard with confused emotions.
He is present in his own room.
She is absent in her own mind.
He thinks she has absorbed everything he has informed.
In truth, she is suffering from severe indigestion.
He gives her the opportunity
to ask any question.
He gives himself the opportunity
to complete the procedure.
She hesitates for a moment.
She knows she has many unformed unknowns.
She tries very hard
to mold a single question,
to put forth the words
whirling in her mind
in chaos.
He looks at her face, smiling, waiting for her final words.
She sees him waiting, waiting for her final words.
      “…no…” she says,
      by default, automatically.


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