Uvalde / I hear the cries of children as they play at the school across the street / They are joyful and exuberant as they play in the Texas heat / unaware of the fear that will soon be unleashed
I came across a photo on social media of some classmates that appeared almost identical to another one I had seen months ago — beaming medical students crowded together against a brick wall of a campus apartment. Déjà vu. But there was one difference. Nearly all the students in this picture were white, whereas all the students in the older picture were non-white.
Big procedures can be tense, but today’s felt a little different. The atmosphere was relaxed. Then, unexpectedly, a few issues arose. Two of them, to be precise.
On May 2nd, POLITICO published the leaked SCOTUS majority opinion draft indicating the imminent intention of the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey and 50 years of legal precedent that ensured access to necessary health care for anyone capable of becoming pregnant.
What is the recipe that makes an ideal medical student? Are each of us the summation of perfectly measured ingredients? Are we all weighed to the gram, set to proof until we rise just enough and gently set to bake?
To fully capture the breadth of medical humanities is simply not possible. In fact, it is all too easy for the medical community to lack an appreciation for all of the ways that the humanities not only complement, but enhance medicine. Medicine — a field so biological and chemical — is often associated with far more rigidity than where the humanities permits the mind to go.
In early spring, amid the earlier quarantines, I watched dandelions grow outside my window. At first, subtly and hidden among the blades of grass. Then budding, bursting yellow amid green galaxies. These tiny suns danced in April’s wind and their scent carried morning’s dew and earth-like warmth into midday, until the smells of grills and barbecues took stage.
Today, I am determined to notice love.
During one of my first patient encounters at the clinic, I remember a young and seemingly indifferent patient come in with earbuds plugged in her ears. Her hands tightly grasped the arms of the exam chair as she anxiously awaited the arrival of the clinic optometrist.
We put out this call for visual artwork several months ago, to gauge our communities’ interest and willingness to embrace a new medium of expression on our website. We asked artists to submit with their work an artist’s statement to reflect on what prompted their creating their work and how their art reflects on their experiences in medicine.
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.
One of the most impactful influences on my decision to become a doctor was meeting a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS). I was 19 years old and a hospital volunteer in Michigan. As I was replacing gloves, gowns and towels in my department, I entered the room of an elderly Eastern-European woman.