The Door

The Door

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 3 : poem 1

Medical student Ed Griffiths reads The Door by Miroslav Holub.

Tools of the Trade

Miroslav Holub

Go and open the door.
____Maybe outside there’s
____a tree, or a wood,
____a garden,
____or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
____Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
____Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
____of a picture.

Go and open the door.
____If there’s a fog
____it will clear.

Go and open the door.
____Even if there’s only
____the darkness ticking,
____even if there’s only
____the hollow wind,
____even if
____________is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

Rights: by permission of Bloodaxe Books

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit

Season 3 coming soon!

Season 3 coming soon!

Thanks to Armin, Callum, Joanne, Rupert and Ed for adding to the readings I’m preparing for season 3 of Poems for Doctors last week – I hope the process was enjoyable! I’ll be busy editing soon, and I hope to be putting out some new readings in the next couple of weeks – watch this space!

In the meantime – why not think about entering our online poetry competition? Cash prizes and kudos!

Full details here – keep those entries coming!

Online Poetry Slam

Online Poetry Slam

‘Poems for doctors’ is delighted to invite students and staff at any of the Scottish Medical Schools to submit video readings of their poems to our first online competition.

We want to hear your poems about your experiences – happy, sad, tragic or hilarious – of human healthcare, medical research, or medical education. Experiences as a patient or a relative, or as a medical professional, or as a medical student. You don’t have to be a doctor to enter, as long as you are a student (or former student) or member of staff at one of the Scottish medical schools. Submit by filming or recording your reading, posting it on YouTube, Video, or Soundcloud, and completing an entry form with the web address and your details.

details and application

Poems for doctors‘ is a project which vlogs short seasons of readings of poems by medical professionals or students, from an anthology gifted to graduating doctors in Scotland. It is a collaboration between Scottish Poetry Library and the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews.

If you’d like to put up a poster or send one to a friend, that’s great!

Here’s a pdf.

If you’d like to say something about the Slam in a talk you’re giving, that’s also great!

Here’s a Powerpoint slide.

Royal College of GPs Annual Primary Care Conference

Royal College of GPs Annual Primary Care Conference

Poems for Doctors was present at the Royal College of General Practitioners Annual Primary Care Conference in Glasgow at the beginning of October in the form of a very eye catching poster, which attracted a lot of attention and positive feedback. The role of medical humanities in healthcare was a theme which surfaced frequently during the conference, students and junior doctors from all round the country were keen to see humanities as an integral part of medical education. This theme is  going to feature at several imminent trainers’ meetings, including one entitled “Finding meaning in medicine”.

Many of those viewing the poster had seen or heard of “Tools of the Trade” and it seems that the third edition is eagerly awaited! Our idea of an Online Poetry Slam – news coming here very soon now – received a lot of approval and several offers to help spread the word.

Lesley Morrison

New Instagram TV post!

New Instagram TV post!

Earlier this year Instagram began to offer video a channel called IGTV which supported longer videos. Although our readings are quite short, they are typically just a little longer than Instagram’s old video limit of 60 seconds. Videos on the new channel can be much longer – but there are a couple of wee catches – first the format for Instagram videos is vertical/portrait, like many videos shot on phones, and of course all of our existing material is shot in a horizontal/landscape format. Secondly, although it’s free, IGTV is a separate app for iOS or Android, not incorporated into the Instagram app. Still – worth an experiment, so…

…nothing daunted, I had a look at our growing collection of readings, and decided that A brief format to be used when consulting with patients by Glenn Colquhoun read by Chris Lowe offered an interesting opportunity to play with the vertical format of our new Instagram TV channel.

You can now see the results on Instagram – to paraphrase the Outer Limits “Do not attempt to adjust the picture … We control the horizontal and the vertical …” Please visit, follow us on Instagram, and tell your friends!

Of course we are still going to be putting out content on all our usual channels – here on the blog, on Vimeo, Facebook, and Twitter. So you should always be able to find us! 

Coming soon from Poems for Doctors news of an exciting new poetry competition for staff and students at all Scottish Medical Schools – watch this space!




Season 4

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Season 1


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