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Pectoriloquy |

American Sentencing FREE TO VIEW

Jen Karetnick, MFA
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I wrote this poem about the frustration patients feel when physicians can't (or won't) use the art of medicine to lead to diagnoses and instead rely on science, test result, and data.” Jen Karetnick is the author of 14 books. She lives in Miami with her husband who is a neurologist, their two teenagers, a variety of rescue pets, and 14 mango trees.

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(3):885. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.08.002
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    Between you and me, there is no
    doubt in your mind. I have been here before
    and will be again for “pseudo-
    gout,” “reversible lupus,” diseases ephemeral as
    the skeptical blink. Unimpressive, you say. It is no
    difference to you. Once again, a test outcome
    is negative, as if I am less than the sum of zero,
    a body that registers nothing, not even the pretzel
    knot of all its parts. Look down my throat. Peer
    in my ears. Allow your instruments to dictate
    the truth as you have learned it—
    joint connecting symptoms to diagnosis,
    not the tissue of intuition, not
    the fatty imagination, not the instinct of the
    gut that is flexible and in no way demonstrable.


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