In the psychiatric ward
You teach me kanji.
We start with “tree”:
two downward-sloping lines
with branch-like horizontal strokes. (more…)
In the psychiatric ward
I spent two months last summer doing research in Fukushima, Japan on a trip supported by the Arnhold Global Health Institute at Mount Sinai and Rotary International. Along with another Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai medical student, I got an up-close look at the physical destruction and ongoing mental health challenges stemming from the March 2011 “triple disaster” (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident). During a radiation and disaster medicine course at the beginning of the summer, we traveled to areas destroyed by the tsunami, visited temporary housing complexes and local health screenings, and learned about the science of radiation monitoring. At the end of the summer, we joined a group of American 9/11 survivors visiting northern Japan to share their stories of trauma and recovery.
Even when our schedules get very hectic, the majesty of Central Park – ever so close to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai–provides me with a constant reminder of the joys and wonders of living in New York City.
While working with the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), a human rights NGO in Cape Town, South Africa, I collaborated with my fellow ISMMS student, Vivian Nguyen, to create “I Am A Sex Worker.” Over the course of 9 weeks, we interviewed and took photos of 85 male, female, and transgender sex workers. Each has agreed to share their stories, portraits, and “I Am A Sex Worker” statements in hopes of combating the dehumanizing, sensationalized media representation of the sex work industry and those who participate in it. Through this project, we hope to spark a dialogue about the shared humanity in all of us.
Included here are 7 entries from “I Am A Sex Worker.” The full project can be viewed here.
Kamini Doobay, Class of 2017, wrote this mix of poetry and prose after joining the treatment team for a 10-year-old boy with cancer. This is the second of a 2-part entry. Read Part 1.
In between cycles of chemo, we saw glimpses
of our macho man.
He circled around the nurse’s station, telling jokes,
playing games, demanding a date to go home.
His parents called.
They called every now and then –
to share new stories, to ask about fundraising events
they could attend, or simply to say thank you again
and again for saving their son.
They often sent fruit baskets, holiday cards and photos
of Joe playing ball, winning awards or just giving us
that innocent smile – one we know so well,
one that barely left his face,
even when he was going through hell.