Pulse newmasthead 10th anniv 2252x376px

About More Voices

Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.



new subscription

Join the 11,000+ who receive Pulse weekly

energize subscription 
Energize your subscription
with a contribution and
Pulse vibrant

Slavena Salve Nissan ~

if you happened to pass by room 2
in a medical practice somewhere uptown
some time in the spring
you would’ve heard
a medical student and her patient
giggling like toddlers
right in the middle of the cranial nerve exam
what a thing to hear

if only i could write that prescription
laughter po prn
no copay required

Editor's note: The term po stands for the Latin phrase per os, used in prescriptions to describe a treatment taken orally; prn stands for pro re nata, "as needed."

About the poet:

Slavena Salve Nissan is an aspiring physician-writer and a third-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. She was introduced to poetry as a second grader, and it was love at first sight. Her poetry has appeared in in-Training and Hektoen International.

About the poem:

"When I was a first-year student, I worked with a wonderful patient whom I got to know over the course of several months. We always laughed a lot together, and he taught me a number of lessons about the foundations of empathic clinical care."

Poetry editors:

Johanna Shapiro and Judy Schaefer


# Pris Campbell 2019-03-23 15:05
Laughter is so healing. It helps us get through the best of times and the worst of times, as a great writer has said.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Slavena Salve Nissan 2019-03-29 18:15
Absolutely!! Laughter is a gift.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Janice Mancuso 2019-03-23 13:05
Perfect selection for the first weekend of spring...

Slavena, I visited In-Training and stayed for a long while. Very impressive. PS Your smile is so warm. I just read the poem again and could easily envision you 'giggling'.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Slavena Salve Nissan 2019-04-04 22:37
Thank you for the kind words!!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Karen DeBonis 2019-03-23 07:45
I hope you do write that prescription. Why not?

Lovely poem. Lovely image that I will carry with me today.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Slavena Salve Nissan 2019-04-07 13:38
Thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Beth 2019-03-22 20:28
Lovely. And so true.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Slavena Salve Nissan 2019-04-16 20:43
Thank you!!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote