1. Straus, Marc J. MD

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Figure. Marc J. Stra... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Marc J. Straus, MD


Sunny day, the magnolias in full bloom


and I am in the mood to be optimistic. Today


my cholesterol will be one-sixty, my PSA


will be under two, and my three-day cough is not


lung cancer. Let's face it, every doctor is a


hypochondriac. My cardiology colleagues


all jog, all take Zocor, desperately staving off


their inevitable heart attack. The GI docs all


have colon cancer every time their bowels are


irregular and psychiatrists - they are all crazy.


For me every swollen lymph node is lymphoma, and


every headache is a brain tumor. There is no cure


for a hypochondriac. If there were medication then


I would be the one to get a full body rash, a seizure,


and anaphylactic shock. They'd pound on my chest


for over an hour and I'd never recover.


MARC J. STRAUS, MD, is an oncologist and former Professor of Medicine and Chief of Oncology at New York Medical College. His poems have appeared in many of the leading literary journals, and three collections of his poetry have been published by TriQuarterly Books-Northwestern University Press. He also wrote a play in verse, Not Good, which has been staged Off Broadway, and has two characters-a hospitalized woman with cancer and her oncologist.