Tag: spirituality

Joshua Niforatos Joshua Niforatos (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Joshua Niforatos is a medical student at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, he eventually made his way to University of New Mexico (UNM) where he earned bachelor degrees in both cultural anthropology and biology. He then went on to earn a Master of Theological Studies at Boston University School of Theology where he studied theology, anthropology, and ritual.

Longing for Joy During the Holiday Season

I approach the holiday season with apprehension; it conjures up memories from my youth of disunity, abandonment and what seems like intractable melancholy and disappointment. King Solomon in the book of Proverbs, which is in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible, states that “hope deferred makes the heart sick,” and merely writing these sentiments produces a visceral feeling of a sick, empty heart.



How can doctors-in-training incorporate wisdom from spiritual traditions into the delivery of health care? Rembrandt, a second-year medical student in Chicago, shares his exploration of how lessons from Christianity offer him insight into life’s big questions that arise in medicine.


How Belief Influences the Practice of Medicine

While dancing on the line between church and state, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s decision to not fund contraceptives for its employees drew considerable media attention and controversy. Since the use of contraceptives opposes the religious beliefs of the company leaders, Hobby Lobby employees seeking access to contraceptives must pay for them out of pocket. To better understand the experience of faith that ultimately guided the Hobby Lobby company leaders and in order to “bridge the gap” between science and medicine on the topic of religion, it is important to explore the mechanisms by which widely used religious routines affect our brains.

Reconciling Religious Law of Orthodox Judaism with Medical Practice

Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile value systems that pull a person in opposite directions. Specifically in medicine, where the laws and nature of the work are so sensitive, yet also so important, it is within normal daily function to default to the ethics and American system of law. However, for Orthodox Jews, it is not that simple. Certain laws, such as the laws pertaining to the Sabbath, can make practicing medicine quite tricky.



How can doctors-in-training bring spiritual perspectives into their approach to medicine? Petra, a second-year medical student in Texas interested in family medicine, shares how living in Buddhist monasteries has influenced her relationships with fellow students and her experiences with the struggles of medical school.

Annie Robinson Annie Robinson (52 Posts)

Curator of Inside Stories and in-Training Staff Member

Columbia University

Annie Robinson completed a Master of Science in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University in 2014. She previously studied the healing power of stories as an undergraduate at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Annie works as Narrative Coaching Specialist with Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists, helping individuals in the early stages of eating disorder recovery through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and narrative practices. She is also the Program Officer at Health Story Collaborative, a non-profit that creates forums for individuals to tell their stories of personal health challenges, and curates another oral narratives projects called On the Road to Recovered: Voices from the Eating Disorder Recovery Community. Annie is a coordinator and full-spectrum doula for The Doula Project in New York City, providing compassionate care for women during experiences of abortion, miscarriage, and fetal loss. As a yoga teacher, writer, educator, and co-founder of NYC-based wellness community Pause, Breathe, and Connect, Annie shares her passion for integrative approaches to wellbeing. She is dedicated to creating spaces for people to explore the healing potential of interweaving of stories, spirituality, and somatic experience.

Inside Stories

Inside Stories is an oral narratives project which invites medical students to share their experiences in medical school in the form of brief podcasts published and archived on in-Training. The project aims to provide a means of personal healing, self-realization and empowerment through the sharing and receiving of personal stories, as well as to cultivate community among students in the often isolating medical school environment. The title Inside Stories reflects the project's mission to encourage students to go inside themselves and bring forth things that often go unspoken. It also represents the inside look listeners are granted into the sometimes private, challenging and confusing experiences students may have. Made possible in part by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and FJC.