I ran across a Storyshucker story yesterday and it reminded me of something I had not thought of in a while.
It’s a good thing I hang on to things too. Stuart’s little story about keepsakes and memories reminded me about the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) pin I received in 2006. It’s the pin you see (not so clearly) in my picture on my blog home page.
Anyway, after reading “Small Green Marble” it suddenly occurred to me I hadn’t seen my GHHS pin for a good while. It’s not something I would lose because it means so much to me. I was the faculty recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award when the pin was originally fixed to my lapel. There were several outstanding graduating medical students who were winners.
I gave some kind of speech into which I wove a goofy anecdote about me tearing up my wife’s Vinca patch in her garden because I thought it was a weed. God knows what I was driving at. It might have had something to do with the ambivalence with which we sometimes view advances in medicine. Vinca (also known as creeping myrtle or periwinkle) can be thought of as an invasive weed but it also happens to have medicinal value. The alkaloids of the plant can be used in cancer chemotherapy, such as vincristine and vinblastine.
I suppose we could think of other kinds of plants we can feel ambivalent about.
I must have looked in a half dozen places. I finally found it in the bottom of the bag I carry every day to work. It was there along with a key to an unknown lock, a couple of other pins and loose change.
I don’t wear jackets much anymore so finding the courage to stick a pin hole in my white coat collar might take a little while.