From the Wards

Natalie Mesa (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine


Natalie Mesa is a medical student at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami, Florida, Class of 2025. In 2019, she graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and natural and applied sciences with a minor in psychology. She graduated from the Honors College and Summa cum laude. She enjoys running, traveling and reading in her free time. After graduating medical school, Natalie would like to pursue a career in General Surgery.




Fragrance

I start the day like most of us do: stimulating the needy vessels we call bodies with caffeine. As I open up my coffee jar to dispense ground Turkish coffee beans, I am met with a hint of loving bitterness. It carries a comforting brown sugar warmth that often stirs a sense of weakness given my inherent dependency on this substance but also commands secure boldness through notes of molasses and dark chocolate.

Navigating Cultural Sensitivities and Trust in Healthcare: A Personal Encounter in Family Medicine

Skepticism of healthcare is widespread throughout some of these communities — rightly so due to historical mistreatment, discrimination and lack of representation along with cultural differences. This distrust may be further strengthened by a patient’s own personal experiences. I respected this wariness, but I had yet to witness it firsthand.

“Jook-Yum” Toothpaste

“James” handed me a new tube of toothpaste, the box a familiar green and white. Even without opening it up, I could already smell and taste the “jook-yum” (bamboo salt) I grew up with at my parent’s house. I had since switched to Crest, bought in bulk at Costco, forgetting how the two minutes seemed especially long brushing my teeth as a child. Never did I think I would reencounter the niche Korean brand my …

Allyson Flippo (1 Posts)

Writers-in-Training Intern and Contributing Writer

Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine


Allyson Flippo is a medical student at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe, Texas, Class of 2026. In 2020, she graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She enjoys practicing Byzantine chant, studying Spanish, and spending time with her husband Christopher and son Justin in her free time. After graduating medical school, Allyson would like to pursue a career in pathology.