Pectoriloquy |

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Stephen Thomas Harvey, MD
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Editor’s Note: The poet writes, “The practice of medicine is a privilege—something I often need to be reminded of. These two poems reflect the doubt that surrounds me when I lose track of gratitude. I like to think I’m living out my calling and making a difference, but I’m not always sure.”

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Chest. 2012;142(5):1352. doi:10.1378/chest.11-3137
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You don’t buy it,
the handshake,
the pleasantries,
the hmms and nods
from a short white coat.
You’ve been around
enough to know what you want:
just the prescription, thanks,
and to be left alone;
like you say,
you’re only allergic
to pain
and to doctors,
and sometimes
it’s hard
to tell
the difference.




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