The scholarly publication Academic Emergency Medicine, the official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, is the place to go if you’re interested in reading up on such topics as, say, “cervical spine motion restriction after blunt trauma” or “depression and functional outcomes in patients presenting to the emergency department with low back pain.”
It’s also the place to learn about what it’s like to be the child of an emergency medicine doctor, thanks to a witty, reflective essay contributed by Jameson Mannix ’21. He penned the piece back last spring and submitted it to the journal; two weeks later, he received an email letting him know it had been accepted for publication. The article can be viewed online here; it will appear in the next printed issue of the journal.
“I’d say I was surprised,” says Mannix. “As a high school student I wasn’t sure I really deserved a place along with someone who’s been working in the medical field; at times I felt I wasn’t ‘worthy’ of having my writing in that space.”
At the same time, though, he’d put a good deal of thought and effort into crafting the piece. His mother, an emergency medicine physician, had suggested he might consider submitting a paper to a journal, and after casting around for a suitable subject, he decided that his “unique perspective” as doctor’s son might make an interesting story.
At first, he just “word-vomited” all his ideas, then cut it back and reshaped the material to make it fit within the journal’s word limit. Mannix says that continuous improvement as a writer is one of his personal goals—and one of the reasons he chose to attend Rivers. “When I was applying, a big part of what I was interested in was being able to focus on writing. They explained that that is a strong focus here. It’s a life skill that will always serve me well, no matter what I do or where I go.” The publication of the paper, he says, was welcome recognition that “the thing I’d looked for had come to fruition.”
The essay, titled “The Son Also Rises,” is a humorous and heartfelt take on what it’s like to grow up as an emergency medicine doctor’s child: the graphic and sometimes gruesome dinner-table conversations; the mandate to avoid trampolines at all costs; the family challenges of working around an on-call schedule; the worries about the risks of COVID-19; and, most of all, the pride Mannix takes in supporting his mother’s important work.
The pride flows in both directions. “My mom was very proud of the publication and proud to see me involved in her work,” says Mannix. “She thought it was an awesome piece, and very accurate.”