From the Wards

Lauren Gilgannon (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Eastern Virginia Medical School


Lauren is a fourth year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA Class of 2023. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Science in Education in Communication Disorders. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside - running, hiking, camping, and skiing. After graduating medical school, Lauren plans to pursue a career in OBGYN.




Small Differences in the Face of Death

Every medical student has felt apprehensive about facing death at some point, right? Maybe you have experienced someone dying before, or maybe it is something you have never seen and only rarely contemplated. Regardless, there is a subtle tension lurking during your first two years of pre-clinical studies, during which disease and death are intellectualized and abstract. Then clerkships start.

An Overstuffed Backpack

It was a Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. and I was rushing to the hospital for pre-rounds. I was on my neurology rotation, and my pockets were heavy and stuffed with tools. My preceptor had texted me the room numbers of the patients I was to visit that morning. I had three patients to see in the hour before rounds — the first two patients I had been following every day this week and a third patient was a new admit from overnight.

Progression of dandelion painting

Reflections On Resilience

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.

New Therapist On The Block

She sat on her bed in a bright magenta shirt covered in glittery animals, with her arms folded tightly across her chest. Her green eyes were trained on the muted television broadcasting Disney cartoons, and her bed was strewn with coloring books and crayons. This scene looked quite different from the other overdoses we had been consulted on. Still, our attending calmly walked up to her bedside, introduced our bustling team and asked the universal question,

Cold Feet

There is a fine line between medicine and mortality: give too much and it can kill someone; give too little and even that could kill someone. We show up to the hospital with the intent to save lives, and anything that deviates from that goal is seen as a failure of the system, or, at times, of ourselves. However, over time, we come to learn that there is an in-between where we are at once trying to preserve life, all the while embracing the idea of human mortality.

Extra Scrubs—Optional, but Highly Encouraged

During my OB/GYN rotation, one of my primary roles as a medical student was to observe and assist during labor and delivery. On one particularly memorable Friday afternoon, after we welcomed a healthy baby boy into our world, I delivered the placenta wholly intact on my own. However, while I felt satisfied with a job well done, something was dripping down my leg…

James Burden James Burden (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

UT Houston/McGovern Medical School


James is a third year medical student at UT Houston/McGovern Medical School in Houston, TX. In 2019, he graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in biomedical engineering and a certificate in Core Texts & Ideas. He enjoys running, video games, and exploring coffee shops and museums in his free time. After graduating medical school, James would like to pursue a career in pediatrics or child psychiatry.