Dr. Gary Shlifer, DO recently completed his residency training in internal medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN after attending medical school at Midwestern University (AZCOM) in Glendale, AZ. He is currently an Attending Physician in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up and attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies. He is passionate about sharing his experiences from his medical training and giving a voice to young physicians everywhere. Gary is also a regular contributor with Docs of Tomorrow.
Sometimes it takes the challenges of life to teach us what’s most important to us, and Kyle Romines knows this all too well as the subject of our first interview in our column dedicated to medical student writers. Kyle Romines is a fourth year medical student at the University of Louisville hailing from Campbellsville, KY. He loves board games, story-telling, thunderstorms, and of course, a good read. His first novel, titled Keeper of the Crows, appeared on the Preliminary Ballot of the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards in the category of Superior Achievement in a First Novel and will soon publish his second full length novel, a western, titled Salvation. He hopes that through his experiences others can realize it’s worth fighting to do what you love, whatever that may be.
Despite its omnipresence, Time seemed to be in reliably short supply throughout the year. I keenly felt its absence: less time to cook and clean. Less time to exercise; less time to date. Less time to read and to write. And it frequently seemed that my peers had a command of Time that escaped me. They finished novels, ran half-marathons, and published papers all while possessing a medical knowledge superior to my own. The only indulgence Time afforded me was enough to follow the aforementioned Republican primaries—a gift that I would have gladly gone without.
I am doing flashcards almost rhythmically, rocking my chair and thoughts to the lilting cadence. It’s early, and my fingers are curled around a steaming coffee. I move forward through the deck, slotting each pearl of information into my brain as best I can, until one prompt jolts me from my focused state.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how many of us really believe that laughter has a positive physiologic effect on us?
At Albany Medical College, upon our orientation to gross anatomy, we are asked to draw our feelings on blank index cards prior to entering the cadaver laboratory. As we progress through the year, our sentiments regarding anatomy may remain the same, or may change, and these drawings allow us to look back at this milestone we crossed as budding medical students.
Medical school is terrifying. This is not something I feel like I am supposed to admit — or let alone feel — because it conveys insecurity. For all the learning we compress into our days as students, we operate in a constant state of not knowing. Perhaps paradoxically so, uncertainty itself seems to be guiding us down the path laid before us. It is as if we are walking with our hands stretched out in front of us, groping in darkness. Every day, we face the unfamiliar, not just in terms of knowledge, but also the larger questions of whether we are turning down roads that feel true to us.
I was on a plane heading towards Santiago, the capital of the Dominican Republic. From there, I would take a two-hour bus ride to Mao Vallerde, where we would be working at for most of the week. I was going on a global health trip through Jose’s Hands, an organization that sponsors medical students interested in going on mission trips. For this particular trip, they had partnered with One to the Other Ministries, a Tulsa-based ministry that has been doing mission trips, both medical and non-medical, since 1986. This being my first global health trip, I had no idea what to expect other than the usual warnings of tropical diseases endemic to the area.
Aside from the obvious anatomical and physiological implications that dictate sports, I am convinced that there are numerous principles that run parallel between medicine and sports. The aim of The Sport of Medicine is two-fold: to show that there is power in understanding the journey of others to help mold our own, and why I believe that medicine is a sport in its own, unique way.
The humble beginnings of in-Training often obscure the grand aspirations of the magazine. Since the first article on July 2, 2012, we have published 1000 articles from 450 different authors, curated by our team of over 40 editors, representing 152 different medical schools throughout the world. This is quite the accomplishment for a magazine that was born out of a simple conversation.
Earlier in the summer, I was speaking with a friend from medical school while we were studying for Step 1, the big test taken by medical students at the end of second year, and he remarked, “There’s really nothing quite like this. We probably don’t even realize how strange it is since we’re so ingrained in it.” He was right: the demands of medical school often make it an all-encompassing undertaking, one that can be difficult to explain to those outside it.
We began medical school orientation with several anonymous ice breakers. The idea was to learn more about the class’s demographics through a few clicker questions. Most were innocuous: are you in-state? Did you take a gap year? Were you a science major? They were standard questions in the boring small talk repertoire of medical school orientation. One question though, incited murmuring among students: How many of you came from households with six figure incomes?