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Pectoriloquy |

Just breathe FREE TO VIEW

Gizelle Stevens
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I am a PGY-3 at Pennsylvania Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine. This poem includes memories on my night float rotation during internship.”

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

Philadelphia, PA


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


Chest. 2016;150(5):1161. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.07.016
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    As I awaken, my tired eyes notice it's 5PM, only having 1 hour to get ready
    The cold shower hits my face and the memories re-ignite
    Nurse on phone
    Overhead system
    I close my eyes, just breathe

    It has only been 6 months working as a doctor
    Just an intern, the first responder, the primary provider
    Numerous responsibilities and duties bestowed
    Many problem list, follow ups and even allergies to remember
    My jaw tightens, just breathe

    As I look at myself in the mirror, I ask
    “What will happen tonight? Will they be stable?
    How can I help them? I barely know them”
    As more memories continue to rush in, my heart races and my anxiety heightens
    I feel uneasy, just breathe

    I put on my scrubs, and grab my stethoscope
    Then finally, equip the pager on my waist
    This tiny machine that will govern my entire night
    Regardless, I am here for a purpose, learning is my goal
    I am the intern. I can do this, just breathe


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