Off the Shelf

Off the Shelf is our section for creative works by medical students.

Arya Shah Arya Shah (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine


I'm a Los Angeles girl, born and raised. I'm currently in the Midwest at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and hoping to pursue a career in psychiatry, neurology or some combination of the two. What gets me through the cold, dark Minnesota winters is my writing, my hot yoga, and my perpetually growing to-do list of art projects. In continuing to pursue creative endeavors, and in working to engage my classmates in the arts, I hope to show people that creative expression can help to keep burnout at bay and help to keep humanism alive in medicine.




Tongue Tied

(a) Unable or disinclined to speak freely The motor commands that choreograph speech are a privilege to possess, though I frequently find myself thinking about silence, and the reasons for which I may choose to leave it unbroken. In my privilege, I frequently forget that an eternal tongue-tie, that moment when silence becomes perpetual, could be in my future. Bisected by a trench as old as humanity, two fertile regions of brain work together to …

The Eighth Day

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to give birth in space? To labor and bear a child in the voids between celestial bodies? Quite possibly you have never really given much thought to giving birth at all, let alone beyond Earth’s atmospheric shell.

Ashten Duncan Ashten Duncan (5 Posts)

Medical Student Editor and Former Managing Editor (2017-2018)

OU-TU School of Community Medicine


Ashten Duncan is a MD/MPH student at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2018-2019 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, he is currently in the public health stage of his training. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Microbiology alongside minors in Chemistry and French. An aspiring family physician, Ashten is currently on a National Health Service Corps scholarship, which entails a four-year term of service in an underserved community following residency training in primary care. His research interests include hope theory, burnout in medical education, and positive psychology in vulnerable populations. Ashten is passionate about creative writing and what it represents. He has published pieces on KevinMD.com and in-Training.org and in Blood and Thunder and the upcoming edition of The Practical Playbook.