Opinions

Alyssa Brown (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Louisville School of Medicine


Alyssa Brown grew up in Chattanooga, TN. She went to Centre College for a B.S. in Biology and minor in History. She fell in love with surgery after seeing her mentor perform an anoplasty during the first year of medical school. In July, she finished her third year of medical school and wandered off the beaten path to get a PhD, before finishing her MD. She is receiving her MD degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine, and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology at Mayo Clinic School of Biomedical Sciences. She is currently working on research projects involving pediatric ulcer disease, diaphragm sarcopenia, and benign breast disease. She currently works as part of the AWS Blog Subcommittee and AWS Instagram Subcommittee. When she is not being a black cloud, you will probably find her in the pediatric surgery OR, baking sweets and pastries that she saw on “Great British Bake-Off”, or off on an adventure. You can find her on Instagram @alyssabrown1013 and Twitter @Alyssa_B_MDPhD




The Interpretation of Cultures

During my Step 1 dedicated study period, I remember looking at these visual comparisons of an early version of First Aid and the most recent edition and feeling righteous indignation bubble up inside me. The former was thin and worn and tattered while the latter was thick, hefty, solid. Hundreds of pages longer, the newest edition felt impenetrable and impossible to commit to memory, expanding yearly with new minutiae to scrutinize.

Socializing in Medical School: Evaluating Our Racial Comfort Zones

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. 

A Reflection on Drugs, Tech and Addiction

The dispatcher called in to the emergency department (ED) to alert us that someone had collapsed in the parking lot of the hospital. The emergency medical services swiftly brought the patient in and our team surrounded him, placing lines and drawing blood. In the midst of treating him, I learned that Jones* had just been released from prison where he had remained sober after years of heroin abuse.

Medical Humanities: A Pathway to Patient-Centered Care

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.

Death, Dying and Suffering: The Need for Medical Education Reform

As she closed the door behind her, the palliative care geriatrician whom I (Meghan) was shadowing turned and said, “Remember, there are no difficult patients – just difficult situations.” We walked to our next patient, Mrs. C, who was suffering from congestive heart failure. All cures had been exhausted and she was tired of being at the hospital but was scared to enter hospice care. The doctor clasped hands with Mrs. C and explained that starting hospice did not mean giving up – it meant living life on her own terms in the time that was left. After these discussions, Mrs. C appeared more at ease and decided to pursue hospice care at her home. 

Hannah Korah Hannah Korah (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Arizona-Tucson


Hannah is a third-year MD/PhD student at the University of Arizona-Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, who joined the program in 2020. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and cell science with a minor in bioinformatics. After graduation, Hannah dedicated 2 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to research novel therapeutic treatments for opioid addiction in a behavioral animal model. She enjoys hiking, dancing, yoga and reading in her free time. Hannah is looking forward to experiencing the variety of opportunities the program has to offer her in helping her decide the right path and speciality best fit for her.