If you could hear what I hear,
You would not hear aortic stenosis,
But a woman who cannot enjoy working in her garden.
If you could touch what I touch,
You would not touch an infected wound,
But a woman with an impending amputation
Without hopes of evening walks with her husband.
If you could smell what I smell,
You would not smell the stench of chronic diarrhea,
But sense of dignity lost
And embarrassment felt for a grown man in a diaper.
You think you see, and yet you are blind.
You think you hear,
But so does the patient your words so unkind.
Do you not see what you have become?
A cynical, self-absorbent arrogant pawn.
Hippocrates cried a tear today.
For you left another Morbidity & Mortality Conference happy and gay.
Sit with your patient and ask him why.
And you might learn something
From a sage reflecting on time gone by.
Give him a hug and make his smile,
And you will realize your day was worthwhile.
So rise to the challenge
And from this moment your indifference must cease.
Before it’s too late my young friend,
And your tombstone also says rest in peace.