A first-year medical student’s stress and anxiety begin to take physical form as she navigates her first year of medical school.
A scalpel, a corpse — / His beard is neat, his eyes are / Empty. Gloves hide clammy hands / Afraid of what awaits beneath
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.
You call me on a Thursday to tell me / You were diagnosed with leukemia in October.
Despite this, most medical students will obtain little formal leadership training. We seek to improve our leadership abilities as burgeoning physicians. We developed this podcast to challenge ourselves to explore ideas in leadership development and how they apply to medical training.
Investigate. / Deeper, / deeper, / deeper: / To a depth of understanding beyond understanding.
When I began thinking of establishing an elective, I wished there had been a roadmap to follow to understand where to start and how to invest my time. Hopefully, by detailing my own process, which I’ve broken down into three phases, other students may feel that they too can take ownership of their education by developing something rooted in their passions for others to enjoy and learn from.
I didn’t know / many can’t / sip coral pulpy bitter / juice from narrow glasses.
Until recently, vulnerability meant weakness, allowing oneself to fall behind without a chance for recovery. Courage, on the other hand, had the opposite meaning: betting all my chips on prevailing at any cost.
Medicine is a discipline that claims to be based on empirical and scientific truth about human nature. Instead, its knowledge and practice are often steeped in biases like racism. For example, medicine was used in the nineteenth century to justify slavery due to the “biologically inherent superiority” of White races.
I knew I moved through these spaces easily for many reasons, but being White is a big one that needs to be said out loud. And when you look and feel more comfortable in a space, it is easier to perform “well,” or to sound confident. This is directly related to what academic medicine characterizes as “objective” evaluations of students, and there is data to support this.
Is medical education doing enough to address future physicians’ abilities to understand the perspectives of their patients? As a medical student, my growing disillusionment begins with medical school and the lack of opportunities afforded to us during our education to discuss matters such as racial inequality.