Columns

Christina Chopra Christina Chopra (2 Posts)

Columnist

California University of Science & Medicine


Christina is a third-year medical student at California University of Science & Medicine in Colton, CA class of 2022. In 2013, she graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology. She then received her post-baccalaureate certificate from Hunter College in NY in 2017. She enjoys hiking, baking, and gardening in her free time. In the future, Christina would like to pursue a career in surgery and surgical education.

Nontraditional

While nontraditional paths to medicine come with their own unique perspectives and hurdles, often overlooked are the nontraditional experiences that color our paths once we make it through the medical school doors. Whether it’s questioning our motives or finding purpose while blundering through the hospital halls, the off-book lessons we learn as med students are often the most valuable, and deserve some time in the spotlight. With this in mind, Christina’s column seeks to unpack the anxiety and find the humor in pursuing a notoriously tough career path.




Lived experience

Becoming More Emotionally Intelligent, Adaptive Physician-Leaders

Current evidence suggests that much of human health is influenced more significantly by contextual factors like the social determinants of health than the direct receipt of health care. This relatively new understanding has challenged the notion of “physicianhood” and what it means to improve the health of entire populations and communities. With the influx of issues that the pandemic has brought with it, this new model for being a highly effective physician has become even more important.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Dr. Alison Van Dyke on Human Leadership and Mental Health”

In this episode we interview Dr. Alison Van Dyke. Dr Van Dyke joined the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch of the Surveillance Research Program (SRP) as Director of the SEER-linked Virtual Tissue Repository (VTR) Pilot Studies. For the VTR Pilot Studies, SRP works with SEER registries to obtain custom annotations of detailed treatment data for pancreas and female breast cancer cases which may have biospecimens available.

Rachelle Rodriguez’s Path to Medical School

Rachelle’s winding journey to medical school is filled with twists and turns, with each fork in the road driving her in a novel direction. At age 20, she worked as a waitress, giving her the opportunity to travel and live in new places along the west coast and abroad. Each city brought a sense of excitement and adventure; each adventure brought her closer to finding her true calling. 

Do I Belong Here?

This phenomenon of imposter syndrome is prevalent in many of us pursuing medicine. Especially for those of us who are first-generation physicians, we are left to fend through uncharted territories. While we try to do our best to navigate this difficult path, we are left feeling that there is someone else better suited for our spot in medicine. We feel that we are not deserving of this privilege. As we pass through these high obstacles — basic sciences, board exams, core rotations, even electives — we stew in self-doubt after each success.

Christopher Howard’s Path to Medical School

His parents attended a parent-teacher conference with the hopes of encouraging his teachers to transfer him to the gifted track. After their inquiry, the principal explained, “It would be better for Chris to be in the remedial track, so he can see people who look like him.” This instance of racism would be the first of many for Chris, whose journey to medical school required him to rise above institutionalized racism and implicit biases.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Drew Dudley on Day One Leadership and Lollipops for Patients”

“As long as we make leadership something bigger than us…we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day, from ourselves and from each other.” In this episode we interview Drew Dudley. Drew has been called one of the most inspirational TED speakers in the world, and he is on a mission to help people unlearn some dangerous lessons about leadership.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Hamza Khan on Addressing Burnout from the Inside Out”

In this episode, we interview Hamza Khan. Hamza is a multi-award winning marketer, best-selling author and global keynote speaker whose TEDx talk “Stop Managing, Start Leading” has been viewed over a million times. He is a top-ranked university educator, serial entrepreneur and respected thought leader whose insights have been featured by notable media outlets such as VICE, Business Insider and The Globe and Mail.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Dr. Brent James on Value-Based Care & The Future of Medicine”

Dr. Brent James was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Senior Advisor at the Leavitt Group and a Senior Advisor at Health Catalyst, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He holds faculty appointments at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at several other universities. He was formerly the Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Intermountain Healthcare. In this episode, we discussed his leadership background, value-based medicine, as well as his outlook on the future of medicine. We hope you enjoy this episode of Leading the Rounds.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Finding Your Why”

It’s the proverbial question. Starting from the first time you utter an interest in medicine. Your parents, your friends, your mentors, your teachers, admissions committees — everyone asks you, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” This is not just a question you should think about before medical school, but one to revisit throughout your career.

Caleb Sokolowski (17 Posts)

Writer-in-Training and Columnist

Wayne State University School of Medicine


Caleb Sokolowski is a second-year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. In 2018, he graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of science in Human Biology. Caleb is interested in medical ethics, policy, and education. In his free time, Caleb participates in number of activities including sports, CrossFit, paddle boarding and cycling.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast

As physicians, we are immediately thrust into a leadership position from the moment we finish medical school. Despite this, most medical students will obtain little formal leadership training. We seek to improve our leadership abilities as burgeoning physicians. We developed this podcast to challenge ourselves to explore ideas in leadership development and how they apply to medical training. We hope to educate and motivate others to further develop themselves as leaders in healthcare.