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When Medicine Becomes Personal

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
Image: OoddySmile Studio/Shutterstock

Medicine is already a deeply intimate field, filled with trust and relationships with patients and shared experiences around grief and happiness. Sometimes a patient can remind you of yourself or your family. Sometimes the patient is you or your family. Doximity members have written extensively about times when they or their loved ones have been the patient, and we have collected them here.

Medicine can hit close to home when the one in the hospital bed is someone you love. Read these stories to relate to clinicians who have been at the bedside, but not for bedside manner.

Our members share stories about times when their loved one was a patient….

A Direct Appeal to All Interns and Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology

A cardiothoracic surgeon discusses the hazards of gynecologic morcellation in honor of his late wife.

Brain Cancer Hits Close to Home for A Future Neurosurgeon

A future neurosurgeon reflects on his late father’s brain cancer, months before interviewing for residency.

My Father’s Cancer Makes Me Sure Prevention Is the Cure

A pediatrician is inspired by her father’s cancer diagnosis to do more with preventative medicine.

The Rebirth of an Ob-Gyn’s Child

An ob-gyn deals with being a physician-mom as her son undergoes gender confirmation surgery.

Being a Physician-Friend

A radiation oncologist acts as physician and friend when his best friend is diagnosed with cancer.

May Is ALS Awareness Month — For Me It’s Personal

A radiologist remembers her father’s struggle with ALS.

The Ghost of My Mother

A plastic surgeon describes what it was like watching his mother wither away.

At some point or another, we all become patients. Whether it’s pregnancy-related, old age, or just an accident. For clinicians, being the one in the hospital bed can change how you practice. Read the stories and lessons learned from these patient-clinicians.

…and being a patient themselves.

A Physician Experiences the Pain Crisis in America

A pediatrician talks about her chronic pain and how it helped her understand the opioid crisis in America.

The Greatest Lessons I’ve Learned as a Paraplegic Doctor

An internal medicine doctor remembers what it was like to walk, and what being a paraplegic taught him about being a doctor.

Support Forums for Benzo Withdrawal: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A cardiologist realizes her Xanax was making her ill.

All I Did Was Wake up. Now I’m a Liability

A pediatric neurologist recalls her cancer diagnosis, her stroke, and waking up in the ICU.

When This PA Became a Patient

An emergency medicine PA recounts the diagnosis and aftermath of having an ovary and mass removed.

Cancer Made Me a Mutant — and Proud

A psychiatrist compares his cancer diagnosis to being one of the X-Men.

I Became a Cancer Patient, but Was Misdiagnosed

An ob-gyn tells the story of an infection being mistaken for cancer recurrence.

“Before You Pulled Back the Curtain”

A psychiatrist pens a poem about what it’s like to be a patient.

Being A Patient Made Me A Better Physician

A retired nephrologist discusses his stenosis and how it made him a better doctor.

An Oncologist-Turned-Cancer-Patient’s Plea to Colleagues

An oncologist-turned-cancer-patient pleads with his colleagues to not give patients “desperate” options.

I Am A Clinician Struggling With Depression

An anonymous physician admits their struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, and talks about being in inpatient care.

What I Hoped To Rule Out in Patients Is What I Had

An emergency medicine doctor tells the story of her infertility problems.

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

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