May Chammaa (1 Posts)
Wayne State University School of Medicine
May Chammaa is a third year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI, class of 2022. In 2018, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. Her interests include trauma psychiatry, addiction medicine, women’s health, advocacy efforts and dance.
A medical student, to whom I will refer as X, posted on their social media page they were going to kill themselves. Their letter was direct, raw and, as many suicide notes tend to be, apologetic. They explained they felt they no longer had the strength to keep fighting; it was simply “time for them to go.”
The year turns four. / April weeps: the vootery / Of a heart too weak / To hold the stifling tears until December.
When I applied for medical school, I knew I was signing up for hard work. I knew I would have to spend countless hours studying, that my sleep cycle might never be the same. But I had not expected this.
Congratulations, you’ve started medical school! The dream you have had since you were nine years old is finally coming to fruition. You’re going to be a doctor! Just … not in 2012, when you think you’re going to graduate. In 2018. I’ll get to that later.
I first met you at age 13. / You hid behind a / camouflage of naivety.
If you remember, about one year ago I had published a story about coming to terms with my mental illness on in-Training. Soon thereafter, I asked for the publication to be removed. I would like to re-publish my story with a very important addition.
One of the things that I have struggled with most in medical school is depression. Not learning to recognize, diagnose or treat it, but actually dealing with the effects of this condition. I soon realized that this problem is much bigger than myself, and needs to be talked about openly. This is my story.
It has been a little over two years since Kaitlyn Elkins, a second-year medical student at Wake Forest, took her own life. Her death stunned friends and family, who had been largely unaware of her protracted struggle with depression that was ultimately revealed in her suicide note. Kaitlyn’s mother, Rhonda Elkins, dedicated herself relentlessly to advocating for mental health awareness before succumbing to her own grief, committing suicide one year later.
Ajay Koti (17 Posts)
Columnist and in-Training Staff Member
Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida
Ajay is a pediatric resident and a Class of 2017 graduate of the SELECT MD program at the University of South Florida. He is passionate about delivering primary care to underserved populations—specifically, low-income and homeless patients in urban centers. Ajay will be specializing in pediatrics, with a particular interest in child maltreatment.
M.D. or Bust
Numerous studies have documented that medical students lose empathy during clinical years, becoming jaded and pessimistic. This has been linked not only to diminished enjoyment of our work, but also to worse patient outcomes. My goal is to sustain the humanistic values that drive so many of us to medicine, so that, instead of being quelled by cynicism, our idealism can be refined by wisdom.