Two Crises I Didn’t Train For

Psychiatric TimesVol 38, Issue 7

"I can still hear my patient shriek..."

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POETRY OF THE TIMES

Telepsychiatry makes it easier for psychiatrists to treat patients by eliminating the need for either party to travel, with services provided from the safety and comfort of the psychiatrist’s home.

- a Telepsych website

I can still hear my patient shriek

when a black bear appeared on camera

behind me, circled the rose garden sundial,

and reared up to study one small human

shielded only by a sunroom screen,

three hundred feral pounds of muscle

and claw, almost as frightening

as a virus a tenth of a micron wide.

Richard Berlin, MD

Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 23 years in Psychiatric TimesTM in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.

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