55 Word Reflections on COVID-19

This post was adapted from the University of Washington School of Medicine: https://faculty.uwmedicine.org/55-word-stories/. Likewise, the instructions used to solicit these reflections were adapted from Sheetz, A and Fry, M The Stories, JAMA 2000 Vol 283(15)1934.

Sharing our experiences in health care, especially during intense, emotional, or stressful times increases our connectedness and well-being. Hearing stories from others helps us know we are not alone, and strengthens our community. The authenticity, compassion, creativity, and bravery of our colleagues help us access our own emotions, and helps us carry on. 

Below, you will find the reflections of four individuals of the KUMC Community, limited to 55 words. 


The Real Step Exam We Must Take

Some students are busy focusing on Step 1/2. I don’t think any of us imagined hooding, graduation, match day, all being canceled. In the face of a pandemic, I feel like 52 of us decided the best path forward was not to focus on Step 3, but to take the next Step and step *up*.

– Daniel Ortiz

Modern Mourning

My oldest friend. Known him since kindergarten. He took his life shortly after losing his father. He was a father; how could he do that to his children?! I want to attend the memorial. There are strict orders to stay home. My medical responsibility is to adhere to guidelines. I have a yearning for closure.

– Anonymous


Four kids. At home. 24/7. Cook. Feed. Clean. Feed. Laundry. Feed. Home-school. Feed. REPEAT. Mom, can I…? Mom, I need…! Mom, I want…! Mom, can you…? Mom… Mom… MOM! REPEAT. Study? Ya right.

– Anonymous

Immunocompromised Doctor

I am a physician, mom, daughter, wife and an immunocompromised patient. I have to watch my fellow physicians and husband work endless hours risking their lives, while I am not allowed to help. I feel guilty for not working, but scared that if I do, I will get sick and die.

– Anonymous

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