The Body is a Journal

I feel immensely fortunate to be a student at USCSOMG. I have been placed in the company of people who care about the doctor that I become in the realm of my skills, knowledge and most importantly my humanity. I imagine after years of practice, it is easy to reduce a patient to their illness; stripping them of humanity, lessening them to a collection of symptoms. I am encouraged that this practice has been discouraged since my arrival here 10 short months ago. In our gross anatomy lab, the kind, selfless people who gave their bodies as tools of teaching are called, “Donors”. Annually, there is a Donor Ceremony in their honor. In their tribute, I penned a poem.

The body is a journal.

As we breathe through each moment, we pen our stories in a way that can be told without speaking.

Our choices are the ink.

Fumbling and falling about we took our first, unsteady steps. Simultaneously, we made our first entry.

Learning how to ride a bike we fell, but not before anticipating the fall, outstretching our arm to get our first fracture. We made another.

The first kiss we ever had made us wonder if our brains were really a conservatory because we felt butterflies all over, we penned our next entry.

We are daughters and mothers, sons and fathers, friends and mentors writing works of literature as complex as we are

Authoring the next entry, we got married and had a family while selling homes, saving lives as a nurse, investing in the next generation as a teacher and crafting the world around us as an engineer

Spilling kindness, care, happiness and joy all over the pages of others that we meet, we are giving scribes and memorable composers.

Our tattered binding is filled with pages that are numerous, rich love and experience.

And in the final lines of our greatest production we decide to give, even when we are no longer here and endue the masterpiece of our lives to students who are eager and anxious on their journey to become doctors as they record their own literary creation.



Keiko Cooley

I am originally from Gary, IN and relocated to South Carolina in August of 2010 to attend Claflin University majoring first in the arts and subsequently changing to Biochemistry. It was during my matriculation at Claflin University that I learned of USCSOMG and made my decision to be trained through this program. I am excited and fortunate to have been chosen to be a member of the Class of 2021.

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