A New Review of my First Medical Memoir, “Journeys with a Thousand Heroes”

This just in: A review of my first medical memoir, Journeys with a Thousand Heroes. “There is not a lot of time for me to read—other than reports, legislation, and civic correspondence in my life. No complaints. But personally, I have just read “Journeys With a Thousand Heroes: a Child Oncologist’s Story” by John Graham-Pole. […]

The Company of Butchers

This story was recently published in Hektoen International A journal of medical humanities  to read the full story go to https://hekint.org/2017/01/29/the-company-of-butchers/   A young doctor just raw out of medical school is assigned to the emergency room in the meat market area. A butcher is brought in, totally drunk, all bloody, “his thumb dangling like a lifeless twig […]


There’s a term for it. For the grief we caregivers suffer when we lose one of our patients. Professional grief,  we call it—a phrase that in its dry detachment captures the all-too-rare acknowledgment of the feelings of professional caregivers. We may, or may not, have been trained to support and comfort the immediate family of […]

Learning from Disaster

The art of losing isn’t hard to master…though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster Elizabeth Bishop “Learning from Disaster” is a trip down memory lane, recalling some sad events of my childhood and early adult years that led me on my path to forty years in medicine. The piece comes from my new […]



Why was she taken? While you remain to question me for your school project? Renee had a project. Her seventh-grade class had been set the task of composing an essay on some aspect of American society. She had settled on tackling the American healthcare system, and after some thought had decided—perhaps her mother had a […]

Where Do All The Young Ones Go To?

I just released this new CD of my poems. They pay homage to children I cared for over forty years as a children’s oncologist and hospice doctor. The poems are accompanied by original music by Cathy DeWitt, who has been a musician-in-residence in Arts in Medicine (www.artsinmedicine.ufhealth.org) almost since I helped found it in 1990 […]

First Physical

Here’s a story from my second medical memoir about the importance for doctors to learn from nurses. The book – Healing by Intent –  will be released by HARP The People’s Press (www.harppublishing.ca) in 2021 First Physical Her arm dances a pronating ballet, radial hump and hard straight metacarpal ribs familiar as pictures in Cunningham’s […]

The second novel in my trilogy

A Boy and his Soul by John Graham-Pole A Boy and his Soul is the second in my trilogy of novels for and about children, teens, and their families, inspired by 40 years of caring for children with cancer. The story is a fantasy—but born of the real-life experiences of very ill and dying children. […]

Art and Healing — How can it help?

Writer, publisher, and teacher Cheryl McLean recently posed this question to me: “How do you envision the healing arts having an impact in these challenging and chaotic times?” She gave me three minutes to respond, so this is what I came up with. “I shan’t attempt to address the specific challenges we’re all so very […]