• Jena Martin MD

Inside stories

The pathology report you read is just the ending. ⠀

Your biopsy was the inciting incident; it's when I first entered the drama of your life. The start of the story I transcribe. ⠀

In between these two points, I need to figure out what kind of story your disease is going to be:⠀

  • Will it be a thriller? With a villain that wakes me up in the middle of the night, worried that I let him escape? Or worse yet, that I misidentified him? I hate stories about the falsely accused.⠀

  • Will it be a long story, with no clear plot and just lots of confusing reactions to an underlying crisis, buried in time but still wreaking havoc? Those are the most common stories, the kinds no one appreciates and no one wants to read. ⠀

  • Is it short and sort of boring? In medicine, short boring stories are the best kind. ⠀

The middle part can get tiring. It's hard to convey all the buildup that happens behind the microscope. I might have to get additional stains, ask other pathologists for their opinions. But it's all building to the ending.

Lots of my stories never get read. Those are the diseases and problems that turned out to be 'nothing'. Nothing wrong, nothing that needs any action. Just a name. "Nothing." ⠀

But biology has all the best plot lines. So I’m guaranteed to write stories, usually tragedies, that you, your surgeons and oncologists read over and over again.

On this blog and on Instagram, I share some of those stories with you. Inside Stories.⠀

What pathologist stories would you like to hear?⠀

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