You don’t have to sit in silence and painfully nod along with an attending’s racist, misogynistic lectures because you’re their medical student. You don’t need to pick the skin off your cuticles to stop yourself from replying. You don’t need to learn how to hide your grimaces behind your mask because you know you’ll have to listen to them attack your identity for the next several weeks.
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.”
They say to be tough is to have thick skin, but I say to have thick tears. / Skin? It can collect pimples, papercuts, and pus, can be scratched, scraped, and sliced.
Many medical schools today offer wellness programs that aim to strengthen the ability to cope with the demands of curricula through techniques such as mindfulness. However, although these efforts are well-intentioned, they have yet to completely resolve the issues of isolation. It is critical for students and faculty to explore innovative methods to tackle feelings of isolation, such as through the use of improvisational and comedic theater.
Although I’ve spent only a mere two and a half years as a student in this world of medical education, it’s readily apparent that I fit into very few of the “typical medical student” patterns. I’m part of a small cohort of dual degree students. I’m nontraditional, having never considered becoming a physician until after I graduated from college in 2013. And I am a disabled woman.
When I was told I had a mass in my chest, I was shocked. Like most people who are told that they have cancer, I was blindsided. But it was even more shocking because I had been going to multiple doctors over a period of six months complaining of pain in my chest, right arm, and right shoulder.
I sat down with Jade Johnson, the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion at Central Michigan University College of Medicine (CMED), to talk about current initiatives to further promote cultural competence on campus.
This is the conclusion of the two part series of Yichi Zhang’s experience as a patient in China’s emergency medicine system.
In part one of this two-part series, Yichi Zhang recounts his experience as a patient in China’s emergency medicine system.
“Wow, your accent is so impeccable! How long have you been learning English?” “You must have so many doctors in your family, I’m sure it is easy for you.” “Do you really want to become a doctor? Or is it just because your parents are forcing you to do so?”
“Time of death: 12:26 p.m.” Hearing those words on the first day of my Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rotation was surreal when just a few hours ago we were discussing the patient’s status during rounds.
In college at the University of Michigan, I struggled to find the right place for my blended identity. I felt like the students involved in Indian identity groups were judgmental of those students who did not fit their specific idea of what it meant to be Indian. A friend at the time who was involved in one of those groups would refer to me as an “Oreo” — brown on the outside and white on the inside — for not watching Bollywood movies.