Wounded Healer

This week’s guest post is a poem by Dr. Erin McConnell, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics specialist at Ohio State. I had a chance this summer to hear Erin read some of her creative work about health and medicine, and I asked her if she might be willing to share some of it with Patient Time. She introduced this poem: “a Type A (is there any other type?) physician explores her own frustrations with a plague of chronic injuries”

I also got a chance to get to know Erin’s goals and philosophies as a health care professional, some of which are beautifully articulated on her bio page at the Wexner Medical Center: “I spent a fair amount of time as a patient growing up,” she writes. “This showed me the impact (for better or worse) a physician can have on a patient’s health. Being a patient is a universal experience. As doctors, we need to bring those recollections to our patient care interactions.”

Beautiful stuff, like this poem.


wounded healer

i amass injuries like a scout
rarities, high in tariff,
applied like badges
or bandages

hamstrings half severed
torn labrum—which sounds obscene—
but merely, a rip to hip tissue
patellofemoral syndrome
more a tropical condition
or destination

stress fracture, an obtuse
acquiescence to overuse
the fine line
when discipline becomes abuse
and running, a ruse
for feeling of use

Achilles knew well
when inflammation befell 
the calcaneal swell

posterior tibial
trochanteric bursitis
plantar fasciitis

a recipe for disaster
or a half marathon

Frieberg’s infraction
result of impaction
tarsal inaction

a body in action
moves towards entropy
looped sinews strewn
haphazardly hewn

the message crystal:
cease and desist. 
but you continue to place
the Divine Caller on hold