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How bullets go deep

In a recent TEDx talk, Dr. Punch shifts the gun violence conversation from politics to the operating room

by Catherine BetzJuly 31, 2019

Dr. Punch: “How bullets go deep.” Presented at the TEDxGatewayArchSalon in May 2019.


It’s time to wake up.

After their surgery is over, a patient is likely to hear these words, telling them it’s okay to open their eyes, to take a deep breath, for their healing to begin. And in response to the violence and despair that bullets inflict, this is just what Laurie J. Punch, MD, associate professor of surgery, implores us to do.

It’s time to wake up.

As a trauma surgeon who treats gunshot victims, Punch often sees the speed and cruelty of death caused by bullets. Some patients get another chance at life. Too many do not. “Bullets don’t just go through skin and muscle and bone,” Punch says. “They cut right through families. They crack open communities. They break homes, and they are dividing our country.”

It’s time to wake up.

Punch shared her experiences in a powerful talk at the TEDxGatewayArchSalon at St. Louis College of Pharmacy this May. You can watch Punch’s talk above or on the TED website.

Dr. Laurie Punch is adamant that violence is a true medical problem doctors must treat in both the operating room and the community.
Related: Trauma surgeon races to heal gun violence in the OR and neighborhood