July 29, 2022

ECHO: Homage to Anatomy

Selin Ocal, BS, MS3, New York University Long Island School of Medicine

As a medical student absorbing large amounts of new knowledge each day and facing myriad obligations in school, it is sometimes easy to lose my sense of curiosity and wonder for the body. It is this fascination with our anatomy — both normal and abnormal — that first led me to medicine, and now guides me towards radiology. Though cursedly complex and occasionally difficult to understand, its intricacies from the micro to macro scale are what make our field so interesting, and deducing its malfunctions before fixing them has created a basis for this career.

In a previous piece, I describe the utility of writing and literature in expressing ourselves as radiologists and reconnecting with our patients and peers. I believe that poetry, in particular, is a medium through which we can artfully depict and share these feelings as part of a distinctive specialty. In this poem entitled “ECHO,” I aim to capture a moment of admiration and amusement for the body, where an organ initially seeming so complex is then suddenly both beautiful and functional. We are uniquely tasked as radiologists to “take a look inside,” and throughout my training, I hope to continue preserving such feelings of awe and astonishment for the many intricacies of the human body and how it challenges us.


You look nothing
like the sticker on
my valentines card — the one
Oscar handed to me
at recess, with a kiss!
(the chocolate one)
They mocked you
when they made you into a boring, silly shape!
Little did they know
how unsymmetric, squishy, squirting,
With a probe how you womp WOMP
or you sing your lub DUB
on a screen, I am amazed
why it took so long
for man to make machines
when one — so perfect! — was
with him all along.