WELCOME TO FALL 2017 INTIMA: A JOURNAL OF NARRATIVE MEDICINE
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
Dear writers, readers and contributors: We want to thank you for reviving our interest in the world, with all of its alarming news, ethical questions and conflicts that confront us every day. Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, so cleverly referenced by artist Kriota Willberg (above) in her graphic medicine work, we face questions about ourselves and the state of the world that aren't easy to answer. Extreme measures may not be what's needed to revive the feeling of being fully engaged on this planet.
Instead, we need honest talk that clarifies the life and death issues we're grappling with in our personal and professional lives. And as editors, we're rewarded: We are continually amazed by the honesty and depth of the pieces we receive at Intima, and this issue was no exception. "The descriptiveness and self-questioning that the author employs are very effective," wrote one editor about "Disequilibrium," a piece by fourth-year medical student William Fyfe.
That story, along with another one from Mr. Fyfe, "No Time for Tears Today" reflect the often brushed-aside nuances of clinical care. So too Lala Tanmoy Das's poem, "Intro to Physicianship." Some, like Martin Seneviratne, MD, hear music during a simple exam—read his work "Bruits" to see what we mean. We listen to these voices and find a real sense of connection, even relief, sometimes grief, often comfort, as we experience their inner dialogue.
A bit about our process: As editors, we communicate primarily through notes on Submittable, a submission platform that allows us to add notes to the work we read. We work independently but in collaboration, relying on each other for feedback and insight. "Hi everyone, this is quite poignant! The writing style caught me at the first sentence and didn't let go" was one of the messages we got from an editor about "After," a non-fiction piece by Melissa Cronin, who holds a BS in nursing from Boston University and an MFA in creative nonfiction (she's also an Irish fiddler). That collaborative spirit—across continents and time zones—keeps us engaged.
Collaboration is also at the heart of healthcare—a representation of that idea is in the remarkable oil painting, "The Surgical Stage," by Meagan Wu, a Stanford undergraduate (below). Check out her other oil painting in this issue entitled "The Power of Touch."
Speaking of the power of touch: Each one of our pieces holds exactly that. Let us know which ones revive your connection with the world.
—Donna Bulseco for the Editors of Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine