The illness experience is chiseled by the search for meaning, for purpose, for greater understanding of existential suffering. This search is at the center of the spiritual journey.
In disease and in health, our bodies tell stories. But more often than not, these stories are left unheard and unseen. A meaningful method for illuminating untold stories is through traditional/classical dance forms. Dance especially is a space for knowledge and roles to be authentically represented. For marginalized communities in particular, traditional dance has for centuries been a medium for creative expression and healing despite how circumstances and society have complicated their access to care.
One of the most powerful paradoxes of medical education is that we learn how to heal the living by dissecting the dead. Our cadavers house the beauty and intricacies of human creation, the distinctiveness yet commonality of each human body and the finality of decline.
Uppgivenhetssyndrom, also termed resignation syndrome, is a distressing ailment in which patients — often young children — completely withdraw from the activities of daily life. With no underlying neurological or physical disease, these patients lose the will to live, essentially becoming apathetic.
Trauma can be inflicted on the micro scale — to the mind, to the body and to the spirit itself. Oftentimes, we tend to sideline these transgressions, but their accumulation can damage our sense of wholeness and peace with both ourselves and the world.
In medical school, it is said time and time again by upperclassmen that having a mentor is integral to success as a medical student. Mentors are valuable because they can connect you with opportunities, give advice on career planning and also provide reassurance when you need it.
Thinking. We do it all the time, from the most minute choices to the most momentous decisions. Part and parcel of our daily lives, thought is inextricable from how we see, feel and believe. But how often do we take the time to reflect? To ruminate on our experiences and flesh out how dynamically we are molded by them?
‘Write Rx’ is a narrative medicine column offering ‘prescriptions’ for narrative medicine exercises. Each column entry begins with an introduction to the theme of the entry, offers literary excerpts to expand on that theme and concludes with questions that invite students to explore a corresponding narrative medicine topic. The goal is to offer space for reflection for busy medical students, as well as foster medical students’ communication toolkit in the increasingly complex space of patient care. Topics include cultural fluency, illness cognitions and more.
I went to college in Canada, and whenever I’d think about medical school, I’d romanticize how great moving to the United States would be in terms of opportunities and career development. However, in college, I was in a romantic relationship when I applied to medical schools in the U.S., and with that, I was very cognizant that I’d have to be in a long-distance relationship for at least four years…
There has recently been an increasing appreciation for social determinants of health. The term encompasses the circumstances in which people live, including factors such as income, race, food, housing, transportation and environmental conditions.
Today, I am determined to notice love. The sun comes up bright and full each morning to keep us warm.
When I originally came to the United States for medical school, I was very nervous. I knew no one in Minnesota and was separated from my family by a greater than six hour flight to another country.