We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Poetry and Medicine |


Jack Stewart
JAMA. 2008;299(17):2000. doi:10.1001/jama.299.17.2000.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


So convinced of the existence
of a rattle, my father made
my brother kneel in the back seat
of the Buick and move the stethoscope
across the window, the top of the seat,
the ledge below the glass,
as they drove around the neighborhood.
Nothing came through that long black tube
but my brother's fear of being seen.
Alone, stiff in the vinyl chair
at the bedside, my mother knew
the moment of my father's death
without a stethoscope. Nor did
she ring for a nurse, but sat frozen
while the heating vent at the window
blew the curtains slightly.
Then she bowed.
I found his old one coiled in a cabinet.
I put it on as a curiosity,
listened to my heartbeat, then laid it back.
I don't know what I’d expect to hear
inside the slide of my family's breathing,
or what to imagine that doesn't make a sound.
Where would I place that cold knob
to listen for devotion?
What would I set my finger upon
to catch the regular rhythm of hope?


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Collections