Minimally Invasive: poems on a life in surgery
By Maria Basile, M.D.
*signed by Author
There are few vocations that delve into the heart of the human condition as deeply as medicine and poetry. When these two worlds converge, they present an avenue for physicians to convey their personal and professional experiences. This writing is often profound because the literary canvases available to these poets is as vast as the human condition itself. Such were the canvases of Minimally Invasive: poems on a life in surgery and its author, surgeon-poet, Maria Basile, M.D. Poetry that rises from a foundation in medicine often draws from the deep, personal feelings of a physician’s intimate encounters with patients and their families. This is why medical poetry does not always follow the convention of the first person poetic narrative of intimate poetry. The poetry is often conveyed through the voice of a third person observer as if to distance the narrator from these very personal moments, much like the practice of medicine in the past where students were taught to distance themselves emotionally from their patients so as to remain objective in their care. It is rare to encounter a physician caregiver who not only seems to be able to maintain close bonds with her patients, but also holds to the optimism with which she first began her professional journey. Fortunately, this collection of poems was penned by Maria Basile, M.D., a surgeon whose poetry delves deep into the heart of not only the human condition, but also just as deeply, the heart of a caregiver. Maria Basile goes beyond offering her readers a glimpse into the life and worlds of a surgeon. Rather, she meets the challenge head on as she portrays the stark realities of some of the most intimate details of the human experience, and she does so with sensitivity, honesty, and humor. O.P.W. Fredericks, Editor