Skip to content

Medical Memoirs

Report from Burnoutville: Flexibility creates families out of teams

As I inch towards a peri-retirement, I am grateful for the long-standing flexibility my on-call group has used for many years—to the benefit of practitioners at many different stages in their careers. In a follow up to my last story, I decided to stop taking obstetrics call. I was very touched by the universal support from my on-call group, who… Read More »Report from Burnoutville: Flexibility creates families out of teams

Story time for patients who won’t listen

Our Family Medicine OB group keeps in touch with each other over WhatsApp.  This is where we sort out our inevitable On Call issues, ask questions, share the latest gossip, and commiserate with each other.  There’s another, allegedly, even more secure app where we tell each other about what we euphemistically call “Patients of Note” i.e. the patients who are… Read More »Story time for patients who won’t listen

Catch a falling baby

Sandra sent me two videos to watch. In the first, Vanessa, looking like a Cranach Madonna or an early Renaissance painting of St. Cecelia, pours the elegance and order of Bach from her Cello de Gamba. This is her award-winning performance from an international competition. As I watch, I marvel at the miracle entailed by a person playing an instrument so… Read More »Catch a falling baby

Hospital food: the good, the bad and the ugly

Hospital food is much maligned and rightly so. It is usually bland, overcooked and just this side of inedible. This has only become worse over the years as hospitals economize by decreasing staff and outsourcing catering to lower the number of unionized employees in the kitchen. As a medical student, the cafeteria lunches and dinners outside the white table-clothed private… Read More »Hospital food: the good, the bad and the ugly

Bill 96: If you don’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another

My maternal grandparents came to Canada from what is now the Ukraine, in the early 1920’s. My grandfather was sent a ticket by his cousin, my great-uncle Simcha. My grandmother and her four sisters were brought by his wife, my great-aunt Adelle. How they managed to save all that money while working sweatshop jobs in four or five years I… Read More »Bill 96: If you don’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another

Calamity ware: What’s in a plate?

When I was a little girl my Bubbie and her sisters, my great Aunties, got me a miniature tea set as a present. It was very special, a full set of dishes made of real china, in the classic Blue Willow pattern. I loved that set, and was only allowed to use it on special occasions and under supervision. I… Read More »Calamity ware: What’s in a plate?

The Bubbie business

Bubbie! Bubbie! Bubbie! came the excited cries as my three grandchildren rocketed into the house as my husband and I were putting the finishing touches on our Friday night dinner. This was the first time we have been able to have the whole of our Montreal family here together since the beginning of the pandemic. The children were happy to… Read More »The Bubbie business