Author: chrissymargs

  • events and appearances Contra Costa Regional Medical Center: “Stories Belong to the Storyteller”12 PM, August 25, 2022Martinez, CA Book launch and receptionSeptember 1, 2022Napa, CAFor time and location, contact the author or events [at] Women’s Media Center: WMC Live with Robin MorganSeptember: Time and Date TBA UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program: Reading, […]

  • 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 day when I was off work. It was a warm, clear morning, too warm for […]

  • Dreams

    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, medications I haven’t used in years, rules we were forced to memorize (CD4 counts at […]

  • 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, I am taken off guard, as I am every year, when a man steps off […]

  • Different

    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. “I want to know about the day-after pill,” she said. “I’m having sex with my […]

  • 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 to hear the news, I can tell from his expression, but he doesn’t say any […]

  • 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 as an English teacher in a village primary school. As I pack my suitcase in […]

  • 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 shoulders, not to turn the patient into an object, a specimen, a freak show. An […]

  • Wounded

      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 form. 19 years old. Pregnancies: 0. Here about: Birth control problem. “Ryan?” I pronounce her […]

  • 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 resting my right thumb in the almond-sized depression at the base of my sternum, then […]