The benefit of the doubt

The  benefit  of  the  doubt  sauntered  into  the  operating   theatre  and
demanded  to  speak  to  the  attending surgeon.   He  gave her  a  blunt
scalpel  and  an  extra sterile towel,  then  hid  under the drapes  for  the
rest  of  the  case. I gave the benefit of  the  doubt  a three-strike  policy.
You  really shouldn’t  be doing  these  things,  I told  him  as  we  shared
hamburgers  on the hospital cafeteria that looks out over the mountains.
He  told me  that  he was going to change, but later that  day  he clotted
someone’s chest tube off.  This is what I’m talking about,  I told him, but
he just shrugged,  then pretended to have  trouble breathing.  It went on
like this for months,  me pleading  with  the benefit of the doubt to  stop
claiming so many lives. He apologized a couple times, and told me he’d
stop hurting people,  but as soon as I’d get comfortable,  he’d sabotage
me  again.   Back  then,   I  think  doubt  still  had  benefits.

Ben Drum, MD/PhD is a PGY-3 in the Internal Medicine & Pediatrics program at the University of Utah. He is originally from Oregon and trained at the University of Washington.

Rubor Participation:
2020 Poem, "Med-amorphosis"
2020 Poem, "Gallbladder Pain"
2019 Poem, "Hospital Tourism"

Voices from the Residents:
2020 Co-editor
2020 Prose, "Running His Mouth"