Opinions

Pallavi Juneja Pallavi Juneja (2 Posts)

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Wake Forest School of Medicine


Pallavi is a neurology resident at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She attended Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC graduating in 2021. In 2015, she graduated from Haverford College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In her free time, she can still win any game of H-O-R-S-E, and she is an endless lover of poetry.




Shut Up and Doctor?

Now, I am a fourth-year medical student standing at the foot of a tall ladder. The hierarchy of medicine requires that I follow some unwritten rules in order to climb. Throughout my training, I have gotten the sense that one of those rules is: avoid trouble, good or bad. Of course, now, doctors are beginning to find their voices through movements like White Coats for Black Lives. But as a young trainee, I sometimes feel the sentiment directed at James in 2018: shut up and doctor.

How CrossFit Prepared Me for Medical School

A few years ago, I found CrossFit. Since then, I have spent a large share of my free time training and  improving my health and fitness. As with any sport, there was a large learning curve. However, as I trained, my mind and body adapted. I made strides both athletically and mentally that I never thought were possible. I never imagined that this preparation and development would translate to a seemingly opposing task: medical school.

Call It What It Is

Anxiety defined me more when I denied its existence than it does now that I’ve faced it head-on. Maybe the anxiety helped me get to where I was, but it was a burden I didn’t have to bear — especially not alone. Even knowing how important mental health is as a future physician, it embarrassed me to admit that I might need a prescription to help me cope with my fears and anxieties.

Doctors for Democracy: Why Being an Election Worker is Good Public Health

Rather than ask elderly poll workers to risk their health on Election Day, medical professionals and students can volunteer to work at polling locations. Health care professionals and students tend to be in a lower-risk population and are also well-versed in the public health practices critical to safely conducting an election during the pandemic.

Learning in Crisis

How could I study for my next exam instead of focusing my energy on the crisis around me? Was I selfish for still worrying about doing well in school while others died alone in the hospital on a ventilator? In these moments, I found respite in “Learning in War-Time,” a sermon delivered by C.S. Lewis to the students of Oxford in 1939 just as World War II began. In this timely sermon, Lewis addressed the chief concern on students’ minds: Why continue to study philosophy or science “when the lives of our friends and the liberties of Europe are in the balance?”

What Brings Patients to Free Clinics?

I have learned that patients seek health care services at free clinics for a myriad of reasons and some are atypical. There were specific populations I expected to see: the uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, and those without access to transportation. Yet there were other populations I was more surprised to see, namely patients who had insurance but preferred their experiences at free clinics.

Soulful Medicine

And with scientific advancements came cures and treatments that the healers of antiquity could have never imagined. However, these advances came at the cost of appreciating a holistic approach to health. How pitiful is it when a profession which was once completely focused on healing the whole person must now devote entire conferences and countless seminars to finding ways of injecting that back into both its practitioners and the people they serve?

Misgendering in Medicine: How to Improve Care of Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Patients

It is not uncommon for transgender and gender non-binary individuals to be misgendered by health care providers or in the health care setting. This negatively affects their health and their relationship with their providers. Leaders in the field of transgender and non-binary health care recommend asking about a person’s pronouns and integrating pronoun introductions into the clinical setting.

Are Medical Schools Addressing All Dimensions of Health? A Perspective from Philadelphia Medical Students

So, what is planetary health? It refers to a burgeoning field focused on understanding the health impacts of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems, including climate change and environmental pollution. This also encompasses the immediate and downstream health threats from such disruptions, which have impacts on communities at the local level — Philadelphia is no exception.

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.

Maiya Smith (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

John A. Burns School of Medicine


Maiya Smith is a third-year medical student at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii class of 2022. In 2017, she graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science in anthropology and human biology. She enjoys hiking with her dogs, surfing and macrame in her free time.