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Jack Penner Jack Penner (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Georgetown University School of Medicine


Jack Penner is a 3rd year medical student at Georgetown University with an interest in primary care, healthcare leadership, and medical education. He served as a coordinator of Georgetown’s Student Run Free Clinic at the DC General Homeless Shelter, where he created programs in youth mentorship and maternal health. His writing focuses on the medical student experience and helping fellow students develop into engaged, compassionate physicians.




My Grandpa’s Socks

Whenever I go to the hospital, I wear my grandpa’s socks. They looked distinguished on an older man, but a little childish on a me, a 25-year-old medical student. I’m okay with that. Feeling like an overdressed kid on Easter helps to balance the overwhelming pressure of becoming a physician.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Four Health Problems of Trafficking Survivors That Are Not STDs

When many people hear about human trafficking and health care, they usually think about sexual health: sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and so forth. However, the health problems of trafficking survivors are much more vast and complex. It is also important to note that not all trafficking survivors are trafficked for sex.

For the Love of Theater

Theater, however, has given me more than just fun memories from my childhood. Its life lessons are ones that I have held onto my whole life and have directly impacted my path towards medicine. In fact, I believe that everyone, especially future physicians, should participate in theater not only because it can be a very rewarding extra curricular, but also because it can give you specific skills, such as the ones outlined below, to use later in your practice.

A Third Year Opus — Chapter Three: The Tenant

Delirium is a bread-and-butter presentation. The differential writes itself — stroke, infection, intoxication, electrolyte imbalances, shock, organ failure. The intellectual exercise this invites was practically invented for medical students, even if the final diagnosis (dehydration secondary to gastroenteritis) and its treatment (fluids) were relatively mundane.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Your Somaticizing Patient Could Have Been Trafficked

In the five years that have passed since I met the 14-year-old girl who opened my eyes to the terrible crime of sex trafficking in the United States, much has changed. We have made strides in state and federal legislation to protect survivors, national human trafficking prevention months have been declared, and victims are no longer treated as criminals.

Anatomy as Art: Installation #18

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.

The Top Ten Moments of 2016 in the Fight for Universal Health Care

Debate about some of the most pressing issues facing our country were lost in the horse race of the 2016 presidential campaign. Among those issues was healthcare. While millions of Americans received health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 30 million remain uninsured and medical bills continue to be the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Vanessa Velez Vanessa Velez (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine


Vanessa Velez is a third year medical school student at Geisinger Commonwealth Medical College interested in psychiatry. She graduated from Cornell University in 2013 and later volunteered in Los Angeles with an AmeriCorps program. On the West Coast, she began to explore her right brain and spirit. Inspired by nature, love, fellow humans, travel and relationships, Vanessa uses art to free, release and share what is being received from Divine Source. Vanessa hopes to dive further into the human experience through art and psychiatry.