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In Your Words  |   January 2014
No Place Like HOME
Author Notes
  • Address correspondence to Jimmy Tam Huy Pham, MHS, MA, OMS IV, Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, 20000 N 57th Ave D208, Glendale, AZ 85308-8622. E-mail: jthuypham@gmail.com  
Article Information
Preventive Medicine / Being a DO / In Your Words
In Your Words   |   January 2014
No Place Like HOME
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2014, Vol. 114, 68. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.016
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2014, Vol. 114, 68. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.016
For weeks,
I have not been HOME,
a place of heartfelt warmth,
a place where
students become health teachers
and physicians become learners—
of suffering, of pain,
and of life drudgeries.
 
HOME is where
the sick get tended
and the lonely get mended—it's where
hundreds of miles of worn-out shoes,
from all walks of life,
from all corners of Earth,
come for a night of solace and friendship
and a peaceful sleep
on a bunk bed, slept on
by many others
before them.
 
HOME is where
they get a quick examination
and their physical wounds get tended—
their sickness displayed
as a teaching tool—
but no amount of tender care
can heal the mental wounds
of being homeless,
of being the dust of life—
forgotten, abandoned, brushed off.
 
HOME is where
they came
and they went
and all they left behind
is a lasting imprint
on the memory of those
who had met them.
 
There is no place like HOME,
a place of heartfelt warmth,
to which I will soon return.
 
Note: The HOME (Health Outreach through Medicine and Education) Project is a program that delivers medical care and preventive education in the Phoenix Valley, Arizona, area. Under the supervision of health care professionals, students from Midwestern University at Glendale, Arizona, provide free acute medical care on a weekly basis to patients at homeless shelters. 
   Financial Disclosures: None reported.