What the Doctor said by Raymond Carver


In my previous post I mentioned ” A new path to the waterfall” by Raymond Carver, so I thought that it would be a good idea to mention soemthing about this writer. He was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century, who died prematurely in 1988 at the young age of fifty. He was considered one of the greatest short story writers of his generation, responsible, some say, for reviving the fortunes of the short story. His stories were peopled with everyday people and everyday problems. At the end of his life he started to produce poetry, and here is an example of one of his last poems, which talks about his encounter with his doctor after being told he had lung cancer.

What the Doctor said 

He said it doesn’t look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I’m glad I wouldn’t want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I’m real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn’t catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who’d just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong

New peaks and waters


August and the holidays are over, and we return to routine and normality. But what kind of return are we facing?

A difficult September ( The January climb has been forwarded to September!), and maybe that is an understatment; with more cuts on the horizon, more job losses and more price increases…… The prospects seem dour, and the light at the tunnel seems non-existent but that is just the moment to react…… and act ……. and push forward. And for this reason  at MedicalEnglishBlog we are returning with an increased optimism in the face adversity. We are looking for new peaks to climb and new waters to cross, a new path to the waterfall. ( Courtesy of Raymond Carver)

In the near future we will upload the last of the sections of the interview with Dr Manolo Tomas, and next week we are going to record a new interview with Eulalia Pastor, the speech therapist from Son Llatzer Hospital and the first non Doctor to be interviewed.

So welcome back, and do not forget that this blog is nothing without you, the readers and the future contributors and collaborators.