The Doctor

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

He was the head
of Oncology,
a great mountain of a man
who wore a beautiful suit.

He greeted the young man
who was dying and his parents.

When the young man’s friends
went above the doctor’s head
to try to get him admitted
to another hospital,
for they loved the young man,

the doctor never came back
to check on the dying man,
but sent his assistant—

would not acknowledge the parents
when they saw him in the hallways.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

10 responses to “The Doctor

  1. Ina

    What a story, that is awfull. Great men can be so small then.

  2. My dear Ethel and Thomas,
    I couldn’t bring myself to ‘like’ this. I think of you both often as we walk our roads of grief on separate sides of the world. I find myself hoping you’ll send a copy of this to the oncologist, not to punish him, rather in the hope he’ll be a better doctor for the reading of it.
    Take care

  3. So sad.

    And I simply have to agree with Tricia; he needs to know the effect that this kind of action can have on people who are already in enough pain and turmoil.

    Love to you both

    Christine x

  4. I “Like” this as a poem, though not at all what it depicts. Meanwhile …


    There are seven notes in the octave
    (One of them recycles its name)
    But then there are always those
    Who only recognise one note
    Repetitive and relentless

    Me Me Me Me Me!

  5. How truly sad.
    Friendship is what shines through here for me.

  6. Oh – that’s painful.

  7. sonjabingen

    I hope that letting all of these feelings out helps ease your pain. Love you both!

  8. I often wonder how these people live with themselves, they are not more important than us , they are cleverer in some ways but not in all. No one is big enough to make a decisions if they cannot live with the outcomes of their decisions.

  9. Such an insensitive doctor – it’s hard to imagine! My heart goes out to you for being treated this way.

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