The Sentiment is a work of prose poetry that crystallizes my understanding of fluid identity and the interrelation of all existences. It synthesizes my personal experiences with the words and actions of the many teachers who came before me, and serves as an existential reminder of the unique and universal nature of all things. This is a perception that has only grown through the writing of the work, and one which deeply affects my relationships with others. It is, in large part, my motivation for becoming a doctor. I see each suffering as my suffering, and each joy as my joy. And my profession is nothing more than the minimization of the former and the maximization of the latter, as much as possible. Medicine is an invader of the personal, and a violator of the sacred. It probes to the depths of someone’s being, often in their most vulnerable and least dignified state. At such a time, the establishment of trust is never more important. And trust is established through familiarity and understanding, which itself comes from attempted communication--first and foremost, that I come in peace and mean no harm. The Sentiment is a work that penetrates the depths of my heart and mind, and its words are the words of my soul. It is the most honest literary expression of who I am, and writing it was, if nothing more, an intensive exercise of opening the heart. I believe that to work at this is not only the essence of a good doctor, but of any good man. I strive to be both.
Thomas, Alexander, "The Sentiment" (2019). SKMC JeffMD Scholarly Inquiry, Phase 1, Project 1.