Opinions

Jennifer Geller Jennifer Geller (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer and Managing Editor

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Jennifer is a third-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey class of 2024. In 2020, she graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology. When not studying medicine, she enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with friends and family. Additional academic interests include medical education, narrative medicine, and bioethics.




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. 

Letter to the Radiology Hopeful

My interest in radiology began, as it does for many, with the thrill of coming to a solution based on imaging and some sparse words on a patient’s chief complaint. Reading radiologic scans is like learning a language — a code composed of axial and coronal views, enhancing and nonenhancing areas and anatomical landmarks. When you dive into the millimeter slices of a contrast CT and the defect snaps to your attention, you are hooked. 

Debunking the Can of Worms

Like many medical students, I am familiar with the antiparasitic medication ivermectin, a common drug taught in medical school. Ivermectin became an unexpected subject in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, after seeing a patient in the clinic taking ivermectin as an alternative to vaccination, the news hit differently.

The Significance of Artistic Observation in Medical Education

Studies have shown that physicians with exposure and background in the humanities are more empathetic, ethical, expressive and even healthier. Recently, medical school curricula across the country have begun to emphasize communication, teamwork, problem solving and humanistic care, as the dichotomous view of the sciences as a separate entity from art and literature is becoming obsolete. 

With USMLE Step 1 Changes, Earlier Planning is Key from a New Medical School

As a fourth-year medical student from a new medical school who just finished interviewing for ophthalmology residency, I can credit much of my interview season experience to intentional career planning and preparation early on. The ultimate impact of the upcoming changes to the USMLE Step 1 to pass/fail is yet to be fully determined. However, in my perspective, this monumental shift in medical education will place a greater emphasis on the need for thoughtful career planning earlier in medical school. 

Self-Reflection: Defining Resilience in the Elderly

With a growing interest in geriatrics, I began to wonder what resilience looks like for elderly patients, who unlike children, present their life trajectories to physicians much later. This is perhaps challenging and even uncomfortable to discuss for those who perceive resilience as a long-term goal — overcoming significant barriers in order to improve over time. Resilience may not seem as relevant for elderly patients who may be nearing the end of their lives. 

Yash Shah (5 Posts)

Columnist and Medical Student Editor

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


Yash attends Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He pursued a Bachelor of Science in premedicine at Penn State University. Prior to attending medical school, Yash worked on clinical and translational oncology research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has long-standing interests in contributing to medical education, advancing health policy, and working with cancer patients. He enjoys playing tennis, rooting for the Eagles, reading, and traveling in his free time.

COVID Chronicles

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a tremendous challenge to our community – certainly from a health perspective, but also in nearly every other aspect of daily lives. Our daily routines were upended – from the way we work, play, learn, socialize and travel. Numerous times, the unimaginable happened, and it is safe to say we will never see the world in the same way again. As future physicians, it is important that we recognize the challenges faced by the health care space during the pandemic, and perhaps more importantly, the everlasting transformations that our future medical students, physicians and patients will encounter. This column explores the countless obstacles we overcame and their everlasting effects, along with emerging trends that we will see in health care for the years to come.