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”

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”

1077: Slowly, They Will Know the Truth

1077: Slowly, They Will Know the Truth

Anonymous

I am almost always numb. When I can feel the pain, though, it takes control over all five senses.

Mostly my hearing. All of the others—except, I suppose, touch—become nonexistent. My vision is reduced to flashes of light and dark, obscured and blurred through tears. There is no taste or smell. Continue reading “1077: Slowly, They Will Know the Truth”

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”

Congratulations, but Being Black Probably Helped

Congratulations, but Being Black Probably Helped

Anonymous

I always knew I wanted to become a physician, but after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2014 with a GPA and MCAT score considered “non-competitive”, I took measures to bolster my resume. With two years of employment, volunteering, shadowing and several medical school interviews under my belt, I ultimately received an envelope from the KU School of Medicine in February 2016. I Skyped my mother and sister so they could witness my life transform in real time. As I peeled back the tri-folded single sheet of paper, my eyes immediately flew to the second sentence: “Unfortunately…” I half-heartedly skimmed the rest of the letter without saying a word. My mother and sister read the shame on my face. I received several more letters just like this one in the following weeks.

Continue reading “Congratulations, but Being Black Probably Helped”