Tag: humanism in medicine

Lucas Morgan (1 Posts)

Lucas is a fourth year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine in the class of 2021. In 2017, he graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He enjoys hiking, writing, and playing the piano in his free time. After graduating medical school, Lucas would like to pursue a career in pediatric neurology.




Patient 15

Patient 15 was a fit 38-year-old female with a past medical history of dilated cardiomyopathy who presented for follow-up on her most recent echocardiogram results. Flipping through the past notes, prior echos, family histories, I was captivated. A previous echo revealed an ejection fraction of about 50% — her heart was already revealing its impending fragility. The most recent echo, just five months later, revealed an ejection fraction of 20% — her heart was failing!

The Family Meeting

For me, one of these moments occurred during my neurology clerkship, a week into working in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I took part in a meeting with my team to update a family on the status of their loved one. It was my first time in this type of meeting, especially for a patient that I was directly involved in caring for. To our team of medical professionals, he is our 51-year-old male patient with a 45-pack-year smoking history but to his family, he’s a son, a husband and a father. All they understood about his condition up to this point was that Mr. R had a heart attack that led to some swelling in his brain.

Snakes and Symbols: How Medicine Misrepresents Itself

A picture is worth 1,000 words, and the world today is full of symbols. Emojis share paragraphs of information. Logos inform us about what a company represents or does. Shapes and colors share messages of safety or caution on the road. Symbols are everywhere and understanding them brings deeper understanding to the world around us. Medicine is a field of precision, and that is precisely why it is so strange that such confusion exists as to which symbol should represent it.

The Vulnerability of Our Patients and Ourselves: A Parallel Chart Reflection

I actually don’t remember his name; he wasn’t my patient. I just saw him during rounds every day during my internal medicine clerkship. He was in his late-80s, and he was very ill. He had a long history of COPD, most likely attributed to his even longer history of smoking. He had been admitted to our service for a severe respiratory infection a few days prior to me starting the rotation. This was my last rotation of my 3rd year, and I walked in thinking I had seen enough COPD patients to know exactly what to expect.

What Brings Patients to Free Clinics?

I have learned that patients seek health care services at free clinics for a myriad of reasons and some are atypical. There were specific populations I expected to see: the uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, and those without access to transportation. Yet there were other populations I was more surprised to see, namely patients who had insurance but preferred their experiences at free clinics.

Soulful Medicine

And with scientific advancements came cures and treatments that the healers of antiquity could have never imagined. However, these advances came at the cost of appreciating a holistic approach to health. How pitiful is it when a profession which was once completely focused on healing the whole person must now devote entire conferences and countless seminars to finding ways of injecting that back into both its practitioners and the people they serve?

Eric Bethea Eric Bethea (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Emory University School of Medicine


Eric Bethea is a fourth-year medical student at Emory University School of Medicine class of 2021. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in economics. Before entering medical school, he spent a year serving with AmeriCorps in Jacksonville, FL. He is looking forward to writing about topics that don't often come up in medical school. In his free time, Eric enjoys running, basketball, movies, and cooking with his favorite crockpot.