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Alina Cheema Alina Cheema (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine


Alina is a fourth-year medical student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, class of 2021. In 2015, she graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and health: science, society and policy (HSSP). She enjoys painting, baking, hiking and spending time with friends and family in her free time. After graduating from medical school, Alina would like to pursue a career in Internal Medicine.




A blue-lit room

In a hospital room lit blue By the rays entering in from the clouded sun A patient sitting up in her bed With a home-knitted hat to keep her warm And blankets on top of her legs Speaking between breaths in her O2 mask She directed her attention to the doctor Her ginger-haired husband Looking at her with listening eyes Occasionally glancing at the doctor Her son with his back to me Speaking matter-of-factly Without …

Red Lines, Black Bodies

I entered the office of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, on a muggy, late-summer day during my family medicine rotation. The air-conditioned building boasted a large front room with sporadically placed desks, children’s books and toys, and what looked like a large food pantry. I flexed my elbows and wagged my arms to fan out the sweat from my Black body enshrouded in my white coat. My colleagues and I pooled …

Virtual Doctors In Training: A Medical Student’s Perspective on Returning Back to “Normal”

We have seen our classmates’ faces, memorized each other’s hometowns and politely chuckled at every “fun fact” introduction despite having heard it countless times. Some of us have admitted to writing down random facts about others as we hear them, hoping to review them later and somehow kindle more profound relationships than the pandemic naturally allows. We virtually contact each other later with a random sentiment trying to relate to someone’s favorite sports team or vacation place.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Esprit De Corps and the Importance of Curiosity with Dr. Stephen J. Swensen”

In this interview, we talk to Dr. Stephen J. Swensen. He is dedicated to the support of thoughtful leaders who aspire to nurture fulfillment of their staff. He is a recognized expert, researcher and speaker in the disciplines of leadership and burnout.

Beyond Reassurance: Facilitating Resilience in Medicine.

In April of 2020, I began to use the word “adjusting” on a daily basis. I was administering rapid COVID-19 tests at the Detroit Health Department and while their tests were processing, I had fifteen minutes to talk with patients about how they were adjusting to social distancing and adjusting to the media storm that occupied our screens all day.

#Top12of2020: in-Training 2020 Year in Review

Thank you for your contributions and your readership over the past year. It has certainly been a difficult one, and we are exceedingly grateful that you all used in-Training as a platform to share your reflections, opinions, and solutions. Run by medical students and for medical students, your ongoing support is what makes us a premier online peer-reviewed publication. We look forward to seeing your contributions in 2021, and we’re excited to see where the year takes us (hopefully some place better!).

The OR

As soon as I let the door close quietly behind me, I turned to face the glaring, rude fluorescent lights of the OR foyer. I felt my pupils constrict against their offensive shine as I ripped down my mask to suck in as much oxygen as my deflated lungs possibly could.

The OR charge nurse looked at me then looked through me the moment she saw the gray ‘Medical Student’ tag dangling below my photo ID on my scrubs.

Well… at least I can’t embarrass myself if I don’t exist, I thought. For some cursed reason, I began feeling all normal sensation return to my toes and fingers — dizziness subsiding, breaths relaxing.

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.

Caleb Sokolowski (12 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.