Cycle

Grace Noonan, M3, Class of 2024

December 2017

            It’s Christmas morning. Her eyes flash open, a result of adrenaline from what’s downstairs. Not the presents or the smell of pine and peppermint, but the screaming. She hears Annie yelling and instantly knows what’s happening. She listens for a while, processing. She knows the cycle is starting again. Being the most observant of the family, she expected this was coming soon. She saw his pupils, the way his hunch was worsening, and even the rattle of the pill bottle in his pocket that she knew he stuffed with toilet paper or cotton balls.

Continue reading “Cycle”

Twin Violets

Twin Violets

Vinamaratha Rao, PhD Candidate (G1-P3)

Beyond this door lies a forest

deep in the quiet riot of autumn.

The silence disrupted by the crunching of leaves

underfoot a team of interlopers, of which I trail behind.

In a clearing beyond the shadows of the thicket,

we approach two trees towering as one.

Two trunks bowed like backs to wrap their branches in an embrace.

 I blink

 In their place, Two women appear.

Continue reading “Twin Violets”

Choose Humanity

Choose Humanity

Rachel Stetson, M3, Class of 2024

It’s 6:45 a.m. I show up early to my shift to get reports and collect vitals on my patients before the interruption of breakfast trays and morning rounds.

The summarized information I carry with me as I approach room 209: “72-year-old woman, here for GI bleed. Colonoscopy expected tomorrow, night shift will start bowel prep. Rheumatoid arthritis. Encourage Q2 turns. 2x assist, gait belt/walker, requires assistive devices to eat. Dysphagia diet II. Q4 vitals. Uses bedside commode. Expected discharge in one day if scope is benign.”

And the undocumented background given by nightshift: “‘Mrs. RA’ is VERY particular during mealtimes. You MUST cut everything up and put her “squishy” handle on the silverware. Her straw must point to her, and the drink must be on the right side. She has failed getting through bowel prep twice—so be encouraging today. Also, she yelps a lot when you try to move her, she’ll want to refuse Q2 turns. Her daughters will come in a lot. She likes a lot of blankets. Let’s just say she’ll hit her call button a lot.” Continue reading “Choose Humanity”

Confessions of an M3

Confessions of an M3

Emily Rupe, M3, Class of 2023

The growth I’ve experienced since starting medical school is staggering. One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed lately is my confidence. Entering into the medical profession is intimidating, to say the least. Like many others in my cohort, I struggled with imposter syndrome. Starting third year, I fell into the habit of introducing myself as “Just the medical student,” constantly apologizing for being in the way. Although there should always be a sense of humility in the way we show up to learn from others, I learned to show up for myself. I learned to ask the resident if I can throw that extra stitch when they are getting antsy and wanting to get on their way. I learned to bravely ask the attending the questions I’m ruminating on in my head. One of my recent lecturers said it perfectly, “Sometimes you gotta pull your education outta people.” Your learning experience is what you make of it; how important we are as medical students depends on us. Continue reading “Confessions of an M3”

Middle Grounded

Middle Grounded

Simon Longhi, M2, Class of 2025

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve just been wishfully thinking my entire life.

“… so that’s why I want to work in the foreign service… because… well, the world is cool!” Scrawny, bright-eyed 18-year-old me actually spoke these words out loud, introducing myself to my Honors Ancient Civilizations class, a freshman international relations major. It became a playful, mocking mantra often recited by my friend group –in startlingly accurate high-pitched tone– every time I expressed a sincere affinity for some sort of unique culture or geographical quirk. I mean, in truth, I kind of liked it; I took it well and it suited me.  As a youth, if I ever met someone from another country, they had some sort of accent, some wild backstory – whatever that ‘foreignness’ was, this new person scored mega points in my naïve head, they were automatically ‘cooler’, and I default-admired them.

Continue reading “Middle Grounded”

Shouldn’t Be

Shouldn’t Be

Simon Longhi, M1, Class of 2025

Wow, they really did it. Literally zero toilet paper.

Trudging into Publix Super Market on a beautiful, yet too-early morning in late March of 2020, I unrolled and tied my wrinkled black apron behind me as I looked over to the bathroom accessories aisle across Register Six. Barren. Edges and crannies of the aisle shelves I had never even seen before, now completely exposed. The coronavirus pandemic had just begun to settle upon a panicking Orlando, and it seemed that folks were convinced that this thing akin to a Walking Dead zombie apocalypse would confine them to their homes for weeks or months at a time (I guess?), so stocking up on toiletries was a scrambling priority. Brilliant. Continue reading “Shouldn’t Be”

A Brief Hx of Daucus Carota, As Read to the Admissions Committee

A Brief Hx of Daucus Carota, As Read to the Admissions Committee

Linzy Kirkpatrick, M2, Class of 2023

Genetic modification is the process of altering the DNA of an organism. A process, of selective cultivation for traits deemed to be beneficial, beautiful, robust. In the hands of harvesters, what was wild becomes commonplace; countercurrents of cuisine built upon sturdier eats and thicker meats and drought-resistant grains, passed down to become culture. Somewhere along the way, an errant hand plucked up a root —forsooth! his plan turned humble purple or white to yellow, then orange. Continue reading “A Brief Hx of Daucus Carota, As Read to the Admissions Committee”

Seemingly Sisyphean

Seemingly Sisyphean

Stefano Byer, M3, Class of 2022

Now, halfway through the crux of medical school that is third year, I often sympathize with Sisyphus. I begin each week with new people, new patients, new criticisms, new stresses, new stories, new lessons, and once I’ve finally adapted…the next week beings—the stone rolls down the hill: I begin anew, and I love it (unlike Sisyphus). Continue reading “Seemingly Sisyphean”