My eyes ran across the same paragraph for the fifth — or maybe even sixth — time in the span of 15 minutes. Though I was giving my undivided attention to the paragraph, I could not move past it; I was at a complete loss for how to convey my next point.
Columnist, Medical Student Editor and Former Managing Editor (2017-2018)
OU-TU School of Community Medicine
Ashten Duncan is a third-year medical student at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2018-2019 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, he recently received his Master of Public Health (MPH) with an interdisciplinary focus from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health. Ashten attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate program, completing a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Microbiology and minors in Chemistry and French. An aspiring family physician, Ashten is currently on a National Health Service Corps scholarship. His research interests include hope theory, burnout in medical education, and positive psychology in vulnerable populations. Ashten is passionate about creative writing and what it represents. He has written pieces that have been published on KevinMD.com and in-Training.org and in Blood and Thunder and The Practical Playbook. Ashten is currently serving as Associate Author for the upcoming edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1.
The Lived Experience
As medical students, we sometimes lose sight of our purpose for going into medicine and feel that we are exerting ourselves excessively with little feedback from our environment. It is important that we remember that, while we are living through the experiences that come with our training, our future patients are also living through their own experiences. The focus of this column is to examine topics in positive psychology, lifestyle medicine, public health and other areas and reflect on how these topics relate to medical students, physicians and patients alike.
While being inundated with information on most things that are normal and abnormal about the human body, it is important to remember that we learn all this information to treat patients, not to treat diseases.
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Ogaga is a third year medical student at West Virginia University (WVU). He intends to pursue a residency in neurosurgery and to integrate clinical research into his practice. To this end, he earned a Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science with an emphasis in neurosurgery. In 2015, Ogaga graduated from WVU with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in economics. He has been interested in the arts and humanities since high school and came to appreciate the poignant stories various forms of artwork tell during his undergrad career. He enjoys observing all forms of art and actively writes poetry influenced by his love of Victorian literature. He realized that patients and clinicians may have their own stories to tell and that the arts and humanities can help all stakeholders better connect with stories of healthcare. In this light, he designed a project with the goal of using narrative medicine to improve patients' qualities of life.