|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 305-306
Syllabic medicine (Cinquain)
Former Director-Professor of Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
|Date of Web Publication||14-Nov-2018|
A-61, Govindpuram, Ghaziabad - 201 002, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Dhaliwal U. Syllabic medicine (Cinquain). CHRISMED J Health Res 2018;5:305-6
Sickly, Dying, Hurting
Ignorant, Entitled, Hopeful
Curing, Fixing, Breaking
Small pill with big promises
Sharp, Brisk, Deadly
Only as good as the Surgeon
Shamming – Fooling the sick
Immune, Blatant, Harmful, Godman
Preserving Status Quo
Healthcare is last priority
Altruistic, ignores selfcare
Preventing, Curing, Caring
Tireless against systemic odds
Poetry is a form of literature where feelings and emotions are given primacy – the reader is transported, through the inventive use of style and rhythm, into another world. Medical students are reported to gain important perspectives when exposed to such an expressive way of communication- “When my emotions get engaged, I feel connected”; “It is a different way of looking at things; a different perspective”; “Poetry takes me to places I never knew existed”; “It compels me to examine my feelings”.
Although many variants are described, the typical Cinquain (cinq [French] = five) is a five-line stanza that does not have to rhyme and relies on syllables in a specific order: two, four, six, eight and two. A subject is introduced in the first line; the subsequent lines describe the subject using adjectives, action words, and the feelings that the subject evokes. The stanza ends with a reference to the subject again, perhaps with a telling synonym/description as in the case of this poem (Patient… Wretched; Tablet… Pricey; Scalpel… Aloof; Quack… Phony; Systems… Sickening; Learner… Burned out; Healer… Unsung).
These basic rules make it possible for poets to use only a few simple words to express feelings and emotions, and they are the very reason I chose the Cinquain as a poetic way to direct attention toward the issues that plague healthcare in our country today.
There is increasing evidence from around us that the healthcare system is being stretched beyond its capacity and that it is collapsing even as we watch. Patient expectations are changing faster than the system can expand to meet demand and provide satisfaction. In the face of continuing illiteracy and superstition, quacks find ample opportunity to exploit and misguide.
Each stanza (and, thus, each Cinquain) refers to an important stakeholder in the health-care scenario – the patient, pharmaceuticals, physicians and surgeons, health professions' learners, administrators, regulators and governments, and (unfortunately) also quacks. All of us have a vested interest in health care, and only when we work for the same ultimate outcome - health for all - in a selfless and concerted manner, incorruptibly, will we notice change.
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