Preclinical

Jen Geller Jen Geller (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Jen is a first 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. Jen enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with friends and family.




Starting from Scratch: Building M1 Teamwork during the Pandemic

None of us pictured beginning medical school in a pandemic. Most of us are still in shock we were admitted to medical school owing to severe imposter syndrome. Despite the exceedingly virtual nature of the fall semester — as of now, our only in-person activities are optional anatomy labs — we have hitherto made the most of this experience. Undeterred by the inability to partake in many in-person activities as a class, we are fostering meaningful relationships with our peers online and in person.

Plight of M2 Year

While it is easy to feel stuck and unhappy in this current life-box, I recognize that we must take a few deep breaths and understand that this too shall pass. And that this did pass for all the physicians before us and will pass for all the physicians after us. And we will all get past this together.

My Pandemic Journey

Unmotivated to study, I dedicated myself to researching the virus as well as its epidemiological, social and economical impact on our communities. Adjusting to life in quarantine was frustrating, and I felt like I was watching the world turn upside down. However, researching the pandemic felt much more relevant than trying to use all these anatomy apps to fill in gaps created by a lack of practical hands-on learning. 

Structural Violence and Noncompliance: A 49-Year-Old Hispanic Woman with Metabolic Syndrome

Mrs. H’s story is just one of millions of Americans who have become victims of structural violence and suffered from the social determinants of health. With a clearer understanding of the complex factors that contribute to patients’ health outcomes, I now aim to reunite the erroneously separated domains of medicine and social sciences.

From The Window

A rainy day while the sun is out is a bad omen. But every day seems like a bad omen now. I stand by the window at times watching the strange weather passing through. If you look at the right moment, you will see me there with a face that mirrors the solemness of what I look at.

Reimagining Quarantine: Surviving Medical School at Home

Back in late March, I was a medical student in D.C. studying for exams. Today, I am a 23-year-old living with my parents again. Despite being in school 5+ hours away, my bedroom in upstate New York has become my new classroom. Being at home has its perks: I get food from my mom again, and I can wear pajamas all day if I wanted to (not that I actually do that). However, there are many things that don’t feel right about being a medical student who has no connection to the medical world right now.

Social Distancing Versus Social Isolation

The same four walls surround us for hours on end while we try to marry the responsibilities of medical education with those of social distancing. While these new restrictions may at first seem conducive to much desired additional study time, gym closures and social gathering restrictions only deepen the isolation already felt by so many medical students.

Life in a Line

Many honor their cadaver with the designation of being their “first patient.” Yet, the term “patient” implies the receipt of some benefit in the form of treatment or improved well-being. Throughout our time together, I treated my cadaver with nothing but careful and thoughtful desecration. Just several months earlier I had promised to do no harm. Yet, as my inexperienced hands repeatedly sliced through layers of tissue, I could not help but feel like an intruder stealing something that was never meant to be mine.

Julia Schroer Julia Schroer (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine


Julia is a first year medical student at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and psychology. She went on to earn her Master of Science in medical physiology and MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She is passionate about addressing disparities in healthcare and hopes to work in health care policy and leadership after graduating from medical school. When she is not studying, you can find her planning her next travel adventure, exploring local coffee shops or cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs.