Tag: burnout

Sarah Kurkowski (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Medical College of Wisconsin


Sarah is a third year medical student at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin class of 2023. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in both biochemistry and Spanish language. She enjoys spending time with her husband Ben, creating artwork, and practicing pilates in her free time. After graduating from medical school, Sarah would like to pursue a career in orthopaedic surgery.




Breathe

I wanted to create this piece as a reminder to myself and all medical students: to take a breath, to breathe. Oftentimes we forget to find beauty in everyday life, since we are all so involved in our  bustling workdays. We forget to take a pause during the day, to inhale and exhale with intention.

Story(ies) of Myself

The power and beauty of writing rest in a process of active narrative formation. The act of expression helps us make sense of what happened, integrate this into our sense of self, and clarify our values that will influence our next steps. Conveniently, our expression serves as a record of both identity and narrative formation, giving us a glimpse of ourselves more intimately than we typically take time for.

Letter to Myself

Instead, I was worried that medicine would consume me only to regurgitate me as a mere collection of cells and systems — just like those I would be expected to regurgitate on the test. I was worried that the demands of knowing it all would make me believe that I could know it all, that there is nothing in the spaces between what we know. I was worried that bathing in science would make me stop believing in art.

Essential Workers & Escapism

For better or worse, I have always partaken in escapism in one form or another. “Escapism,” defined as the practice of avoiding a difficult reality by immersing oneself in distraction or entertainment, is a concept that rose in popularity in the 1930s as a natural reaction to the Great Depression of the previous decade. Although I did not know it at the time, I have been practicing escapism since 2000 BC (before COVID). As the eldest daughter of immigrants who were new to the continent and busy building a life from scratch, I would get lost in stories from a very young age. I had little in the way of friends and even less of an interest in being popular, so naturally I was drawn to books to fill that emotional void; novels were the way to my heart — fantasy and fiction, oh my!

Catching Threads at the End of Preclinical

I hope my classmates, communities, and I all dance far more often with health than sickness. I pray that soon the last hospital bed holds the last patient with COVID. I hope justice and truth prevail. I hope we hold onto what we carry: the love of friends and family, a resilience tried and true, bravery unbridled and faith that we will persevere among the challenges life affords. I hope that after long days of caring for others, we care for ourselves and call a friend, a loved one, a therapist — and remember how far we’ve come. We have been patients, and we will be patients, even as we care for patients.

Christina Chopra Christina Chopra (2 Posts)

Columnist

California University of Science & Medicine


Christina is a third-year medical student at California University of Science & Medicine in Colton, CA class of 2022. In 2013, she graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology. She then received her post-baccalaureate certificate from Hunter College in NY in 2017. She enjoys hiking, baking, and gardening in her free time. In the future, Christina would like to pursue a career in surgery and surgical education.

Nontraditional

While nontraditional paths to medicine come with their own unique perspectives and hurdles, often overlooked are the nontraditional experiences that color our paths once we make it through the medical school doors. Whether it’s questioning our motives or finding purpose while blundering through the hospital halls, the off-book lessons we learn as med students are often the most valuable, and deserve some time in the spotlight. With this in mind, Christina’s column seeks to unpack the anxiety and find the humor in pursuing a notoriously tough career path.