Scribbling, humming, tattoo on the corner of her eye

Me, medical student, first year, trying to smile
A couple of questions

She tells me her life

A cycle of abuse, trauma, addiction, uncertainty
What to do, how to change, where to find a guiding light

So much hope and pain and soul
Condensed into something relevant for OB/Gyn
Save the rest for another time, another field
As we cannot help them all.

Typing, jotting down notes, all sounds blur

Me, medical student, first year, trying to close the night
…PMH of…presents with…problem 1…

Sudden sobs jolting me
Family running away, tears in their eyes from
Bad news told worse—their hopes diminish and die

We simmer, stew in the guilt, then shrug
Go forth with our lives
As we cannot help them all.

But why am I here
Me, medical student, first year, trying to survive
Why do I waste away, burn my eyes with the screen lights
Why do I imprint words into my mind
Lock my heart in a box

For an image, a pristine white coat
Two more letters to my two-letter names
If not to
Help them all.

MED '23

Ha Le, a student in the UUSOM Class of 2023, was born and raised in SLC, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants. She has a B.A. in biomedical engineering with a minor in Film & Visual Studies. When she isn't writing or making art, she is procrastinating from her studies with Netflix, Twitter, the latest coffee hack, or a good book.

Rubor Participation:
2021 Mixed media illustration, Roses and Baobabs
2021 Poem, "Conflicted"
2021 Spring Edition Review Staff