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Chardonnay Vance

 Chardonnay Vance

Year in Medical School:

Where you grew up:
Minnetonka, Minnesota  

PhD for University of California, Berkeley 

Favorite Quotation:
"From coast to coast, I've been watching my friends learning and teaching one another how to do things.  As we get older we learn more about everything, we get wiser and find our places in this crazy world, and we start putting our words and dreams into action...Whenever I'm about to finish a little piece of writing like this it always feels like I'm leaving myself a strand of golden thread in the labyrinth, something to make sense of later when I'm looking down from another part of this spiral of my life." - Sascha Altman DuBrul


Chardonnay Vance

Years ago, early mornings after waking to the screeching of a pager,
I would ride my bike to the hospital in the pre-dawn birdsong, and then
sit, waiting, for hours, in the soiled utility room, for the placenta to be delivered, patience a necessity.
Punch biopsies were hurriedly deposited into the suitcase-sized liquid nitrogen dewar,
then the whole lot zipped up and lugged down corridors to the MRI machines,
questions waiting to be answered.

The lobby, bright and airy, with white linoleum reflecting the California sun,
was often filled with musings from a grand piano.

Now, on early morning rounds, our small herd,
a crowd with worn leather shoes, dressed in crisp green and white,
we look up, just for a moment, to admire the colors of the Carolina sunrise, as we pass bays of windows,
along rows of empty rocking chairs set once again at perfect angles by the third-shift custodians.
Pieces of the insides of trees crafted to cradle the outsides of humans.
Places to mark time, to nurse sorrows, to serve as metronomes creaking through the afternoons.
Hospital rhythms.
Interlocking arms and hands, broad-spectrum lights, bent heads,
a delightful grace pulses beneath the humming and pinging, the tangled cables and tubing.

Fresh off the press, I page through an anatomy text sitting on display at the library.

Flipping to the end, to the index, as I have a question to answer...
Pituitary body
Planes of abdomen
Piriformis muscle
Just as suspected.
The placenta is still overlooked,
there is plenty of work still ahead

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Last Updated: 03-04-2014
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