Off the Shelf
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The morning after that Tuesday,
We walked into school
Slowly that day,
Trying to unpack
Our burdens invisible
Weighing on our backs

The faculty tried to give
Glances of reassurance, acknowledgement,
Concerned nods
As we tried to understand what happened
Attempting to comprehend something more
Confusing than yesterday’s lecture on cytogenetics
And inflammation

But we came
Some with tears
Some in defiance
All with thoughts and questions

The first lecture that morning was on
Tissue regeneration

And I thought to myself
This is what needs to be happening
In our own nation

These past few months
Showed how our country
Had been under attack
By its own self
A malicious form of

If we don’t do anything now
The ramifications could be
Fibrosis, cirrhosis – chronic conditions
That may not even have treatment

The following Tuesday
Our lecture was on
Tolerance and wound healing
When our bodies are hit with trauma
We fight back, heal, survive

When our bodies attack our own cells
We find ways to adapt, compromise,

I can’t help but think
This is what our nation needs

And so we move on
Fight the good fight because
This isn’t over
It’s a long journey ahead
And yet, the sun still rises

Let’s strive to be physicians
Defined by advocacy, defined by care,
A generation of regeneration
A generation of healing

Certain events over the past few months and the recent election have revealed hurt and pain in our country. As future physicians, I believe we are called not only to care medically for our patients, but also to advocate for them. I do not know what the future may hold, but I do know that we can play our part in standing up for our communities and championing the rights of those who are marginalized. I hope we can strive to be medical students and physicians who are defined by empathetic care and healing.

Anna Delamerced Anna Delamerced (11 Posts)


Warren Alpert Medical School

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Anna Delamerced is a 2nd-year medical student at Brown University, with a background in Public Health and creative writing. As she continues on this journey, she is grateful to learn from teachers and fellow classmates. If you have a story to share, she'd love to hear from you.