Tag: doctor-patient relationship

Boyoung Ahn (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth


Bo is a third-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. In 2018, Bo graduated from Dartmouth with a Bachelor's degree in psychology, then pursued a Master's in global health at UCSF. Bo enjoys reading, running, and hiking in her free time. In the future, Bo would like to pursue primary care and advocate for health and well-being of the geriatric population.




A Case of Alzheimer’s: A Reflection on Cognition, Will and Self-Improvement

My first patient with Alzheimer’s, Sheryll, led me on a journey of questions and self-growth which I had never expected. Until meeting her, I hadn’t thought extensively about how our biology may dictate cognition and free will. While my thoughts on the matter continue to develop as I broaden my clinical experience, these considerations continue to frame my understanding of my patients, myself and the world around me. 

From Child Interpreter to Student Physician

I learned English out of necessity — not only for myself but also for my family. I grew up in Mexico and moved to a small Northern California town at the age of eight. When we moved to the United States, I was placed in an English-speaking classroom with no one who spoke Spanish. Necessity forced me to learn English quickly and, as a result, I became my family’s unofficial interpreter, including at their medical appointments. It was the necessity that forced me to learn how to fill out official paperwork in English, how to navigate social services after my sister was diagnosed with autism and how to speak with physicians and nurses. 

Self-Reflection: Defining Resilience in the Elderly

With a growing interest in geriatrics, I began to wonder what resilience looks like for elderly patients, who unlike children, present their life trajectories to physicians much later. This is perhaps challenging and even uncomfortable to discuss for those who perceive resilience as a long-term goal — overcoming significant barriers in order to improve over time. Resilience may not seem as relevant for elderly patients who may be nearing the end of their lives. 

The Interview as an Invitation

Freud supposedly understood himself as a surgeon of the mind, dissecting his patients’ mental anatomy through the process of psychoanalysis. I found this comparison appealing, so when I started the psychiatry clerkship in my third year of medical school, I approached the interview in psychiatry as analogous to a surgical procedure — efficient, scripted, precise.

Brian Smith (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Stanford University School of Medicine


Brian Smith is a first-year medical student at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, a member of the starting class of 2021. In 2019 he graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in English, and in 2020 he graduated from Stanford with a Master of Science in biology. He enjoys writing poetry and narrative medicine, as well as running and reading in his free time. In the future, Brian would like to pursue a career in anesthesiology or oncology.