Opinions

Jennifer Tsai Jennifer Tsai (12 Posts)

Writer-in-Training and in-Training Staff Member

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University


The white coat is a scary, scary thing, and I'm still trying to figure out if I should have one. If you like screaming about ethnic rage, dance, or the woes of medical education, we should probably do some of those fun activities that friends do.

I have few answers, many questions. Dialogue is huge. Feel free to email with questions and comments!




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.

A Doctor’s Worth

It was a tangent during conversation, but I felt my jaw tighten as soon as I heard it. Proposed changes, increase in work hours, for the good of the patients and of the doctors too. It was a Friday evening as I was working on a project with colleagues. As we scuttled toward a new topic, my thoughts were heavy and my hands, anxious. A friend brought up the proposed revisions concerning medical interns’ work hours the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is pushing to a vote in February. ACGME is looking to raise the number of hours that can be worked consecutively by medical interns from 16 to 24 hours, plus an extra four for patient handoffs.

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.

Reflections from the Waiting Room

My friend sat dutifully by my side in the squeaky plastic chairs of the emergency department waiting room. She tried her best to subtly come up with conversation ideas to keep me talking; our misguided belief in the old wives’ tale about keeping a person with a concussion awake showed how much more we had to learn.

Burn Bright, Not Out

As medical students, we are familiar with the Triple Aim for health care improvement in the United States — to improve the patient care experience, improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita costs of healthcare. While the move towards a quality-focused and patient-centered health system is encouraging in many ways, it cannot be accomplished by a workforce of burned out and jaded professionals.

Married in Medical School: Our Experience

Medical school can be an overwhelming journey for many students as the pace, quantity of content, and work hours far exceeds even the most prepared students’ expectations. The overall demand of medical school makes having a “normal life” very challenging; that is, the ability to attend happy hours or frequent social events, see local professional teams play or cultivate hobbies all become difficult to orchestrate between the endless pages of reading or practice UWorld questions.

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.

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.

We See Your Humanity First: An Open Letter to Our Peers and Patients Post-Election

Post-election, many of us in the medical field have become ever more aware of the somber sentiments expressed by the groups that were rhetorically and literally targeted throughout the election cycle. Many of us are women, immigrants, people of all faiths, people of color, refugees, disabled individuals and members of the LGBT community. We understand that policies and hateful rhetoric impact us, impact our colleagues, impact our families and impact our patients. We can see how the communities we serve have already started to be affected by this election.

Women as the Scapegoats of Medicine: A Brief History of a Twisted Differential Diagnosis

Black hellebore, a flower of the deepest black and with petals the sinister shape of blunted arrowheads, grows wild in the cool, mountainous regions of the Balkans. Despite its unintimidating label as the “Christmas rose,” the hellebore has a much darker history, one bespoken more by the flower’s ebony hue than by its innocuous nickname.

Arya Shah Arya Shah (1 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.