Blog Archives

Going Home

Last week I accompanied my mom on a trip down to Palo Alto, where she was meeting the realtor who will sell the house. I’d told her I was interested in coming along, so she set it up on a

Posted in Family, Her Body


Some memories of medical school and residency are like dreams. I recall certain details vividly but can’t make sense of them—largely because I have forgotten much of what I once knew: facts, entire bodies of knowledge. Rare diseases and syndromes,

Posted in Uncategorized

Ash Wednesday

  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.   A Wednesday morning in February 6 AM. At the gym before work,

Posted in Uncategorized


Yesterday I saw a patient in clinic–an overweight white woman, 35 years old, with half a dozen facial piercings and tattoos–for a routine pap smear. I asked, as always, if she had any questions or concerns she wanted to discuss.

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My Pro-Choice Dad (2)

Fifteen years later, I am pregnant with my first child. I tell my dad one evening over dinner. It is just the two of us; I’m visiting him while my mom is out of town on business. He is delighted

Posted in Uncategorized

My Pro-Choice Dad (1)

I am 19 years old. In a day or two I will be leaving for India—a five-month trip, the longest and the farthest I have ever been away from home. I have taken off a semester from college to volunteer

Posted in Uncategorized

The Agnew Clinic

The men in the dark background remind me of us as medical students. Curious. Eager, even. We tried to hide it better than they did, of course. We knew enough not to stand on tiptoe and crowd over one another’s

Posted in Uncategorized


  She is hunched on the exam table when I walk in, cradling her left arm in her right like a broken wing. Her hair russet brown, her skin almost transparent, eyes big and untrusting. I glance at the intake

Posted in Her Body

Kissing doves

Flat on my back in bed, the covers pushed off to one side, my legs straight in front of me, my shoulders and rib cage sinking into the mattress. It is morning, the beginning of my routine. I start by

Posted in Her Body

A great mystery (II)

The memory of watching my mother’s knees swaying in the hammock chair came from when I was six or seven years old. When I was not much older, maybe seven or eight, a family friend came to stay with my

Posted in Her Body