Not billable

Shop talk done

smooth back the hospital sheet

add a warm blanket

tuck your feet in

add another

gather water 

no ice

for the side table

we amble through the photos

on your phone

lambing season

at the family farm

your great-granddaughter


in her red rubber boots

fifteen minutes overtime

and yet

the highlight

of my day

The following poem, Oath, is of the genre “found poems”.

Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

The poem Oath is Dr. Roth’s original writing using the Hippocratic Oath.


I hold an oath

swear to impart

carry out

my art

and livelihood


I need

and want


to do no harm


injustice is



will my ability


administer judgement

benefit patients

or fee regimens?


I will not harm


we break bodies

what should

be holy


witnesses to




I enter


outside what

my family

will ever

hear published


I hold

the knife

and stone

teach my art



not abusing

what should not be


my life

my art

opposite men

The Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP) invites original physician poetry submissions

PFSP recognizes the importance of the emotional and social aspects of physicians’ lives in their overall wellness. We invite Alberta physicians in any career stage to send in their original poems/prose to be considered for publication in the PFSP Perspectives column in future issues of Alberta Doctors’ Digest

  • Submissions (under 500 words please) can be emailed to Please put the phrase “poetry submission” in the subject field of the email. 
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your submission. If it is selected for publication, we will work with the ADD editor to determine when it can be published. 
  • For further information or questions, please email, and one of our team will get back to you.

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