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Kelly Stanek Kelly Stanek (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine


Kelly Stanek is a third-year medical student at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine class of 2022. In 2016, Kelly received a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in classical humanities from Biola University in La Mirada, California. Throughout her life, she has been an adventure-seeker and lover of all living things. In the moments between clinics and research, Kelly gardens, runs, paints, writes poetry, and flees to the mountains to snowboard or hike. She loves God and is passionate about recognizing the spiritual and psychological elements of health: both in the medical field and through poetry. Upon graduation, Kelly hopes to become a pediatric emergency physician.




How a Pandemic has Shifted the Conversation Around Harm Reduction

For a variety of reasons, the substance use population is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data from previous financial crises, the emotional toll will increase rates of new substance use, escalate current use, and trigger relapse even among those with long-term abstinence. There may be a significant lag before these changes are detected and treated because health care resources are being funneled toward the pandemic.

Six Feet Apart

March 2020 One inch more than the measure of me, and one inch less than that of my father. It’s been a while since I lined up, back to back. But if I did, the space between us would only read two inches. Maybe less now that he is older. Nearly sixty. Closer to the next decade than the last. It’s common knowledge that people shrink as they get older. Or at least I think …

Building a Sense of Ownership in My Medical Education Through Elective Curricular Development

When I began thinking of establishing an elective, I wished there had been a roadmap to follow to understand where to start and how to invest my time. Hopefully, by detailing my own process, which I’ve broken down into three phases, other students may feel that they too can take ownership of their education by developing something rooted in their passions for others to enjoy and learn from.

The Anatomy Lesson

There were seven of us standing around the table as the attending surgeon debrided the infected fascia. The vascular surgeon came in the room and barked at us to identify the structures before us. “What’s that artery?” he interrogated us. “I’ll give you a hint,” he said, “there’s a deep and a superficial.” We named the sural nerve and iliotibialis band and the great saphenous vein. As we clamored around the table, I suddenly thought of the Rembrandt painting: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

The Mother of All Preventative Medicine — Anti-Aging: A Review of “Lifespan” by David Sinclair

The incidence of chronic disease is strongly correlated with aging. According to the Information Theory of Aging, aging results from a progressive loss of genetic material due to gradually worsening cellular repair mechanisms. This cellular erosion leads to a nearly interminable list of diseases, including but certainly not limited to cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease.

Structural Violence and Noncompliance: A 49-year-old Hispanic Woman with Metabolic Syndrome

Mrs. H’s story is just one of millions of Americans who have become victims of structural violence and suffered from the social determinants of health. With a clearer understanding of the complex factors that contribute to patients’ health outcomes, I now aim to reunite the erroneously separated domains of medicine and social sciences.

Allow Natural Death

Allowing natural death gives the elderly and terminally ill the opportunity to control the end of their life, providing empowerment and a sense of peace during their time of uncertainty. This patient and her family’s forethought allowed us to provide medications to ease her pain and discomfort. When she closed her eyes for the last time, her body relaxed into the sheets, and I pulled the blanket up to her shoulders. Her family said goodbye, and then I began to perform post-mortem care.

Sylvia Guerra Sylvia Guerra (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth


Sylvia Guerra is a fourth-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. Prior to beginning her career in medicine, she completed her undergraduate degree in religion at the University of Rochester and her Master of Theological Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. She is interested in pursuing a career in general surgery. She is also interested in the intersection of medical education and health equity and hopes to make this a central part of her surgical career. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont with her partner, their two cats, and eight chickens.