The Way We Remember

Cecile Hermanns, M1, MD Class of 2026

I met RM in September of last year. We were paired together as part of a yearlong program where medical students meet with dementia patients and learn from their experience. We ended up meeting in her kitchen on Saturday mornings, sitting at the kitchen table and drinking coffee.

RM has early-stage dementia. She was able to tell me about her life and remember details about mine. I received some phone calls about our plans – what cookies had we decided to bake? When was I out of town? – but overall, our conversations were like any others. Except I was surprised by the depth of familiarity we reached with one another in such a short time, the way she felt comfortable sharing anything and everything with me. As a medical student I could tell that I was perceived as someone confidential, a person to confide in and trust. 

Continue reading “The Way We Remember”

My Interventional Radiology Shadowing Experience

Samira Shorey, MD Class of 2026

“Honestly, it’s just a fun little blog post! I like keeping track of my experiences, perspective on medicine and specialties on my blog. I wanted to share it with others.”

This Monday, I jumped out of bed with unbridled excitement. I turned on some funky music and started getting ready to shadow an interventional radiologist.

Why was I so excited? Well, I had it in my mind that IR was the perfect specialty for me. It’s radiology + hands on procedures – two things I loved. You could not go wrong with that, I thought.

Continue reading “My Interventional Radiology Shadowing Experience”

Community: then, now, and there

Emily Casteen, MD Class of 2026

As a Narrative Editor of Med Intima, I have the privilege of sharing the experiences and stories of members of the KUMC community. I’m so grateful for my classmates in Group 23 who sat down with me to reflect on their own journeys finding community during M1 year. Their vulnerability and courage are an inspiration to me! Above all, this piece seeks to remind us that we are not alone. 

Continue reading “Community: then, now, and there”

A Little Death

Lindsey Glass, M.A. Speech Pathology, Class of 2024

I remember it clearly; the realization of what death was. Every living being dies. That meant the most important person in my life, my mom. I was around the age of four and realized my mom would die someday. The absolute disbelief and devastation. I threw myself on the kitchen floor, completely inconsolable. My mom comforted me. I do not remember what lead me to this realization, perhaps our pet hamster had recently passed. But my mom? She would die someday. This could not be. I refused to accept this fact. Eventually, after much of her kind and soothing words, she comforted me, and I moved on. This was part of life and I had to accept it. Now at the age of 32, honestly, I do not think I really accepted it, especially my mom dying someday.

Continue reading “A Little Death”


Adam Wilson, M1, Class of 2026

            I love theater. I participated in my high school’s drama club, and each year I go see a few plays and musicals in KC. There is something magical that happens on stage—human ingenuity creates dazzling sets, talented actors and actresses draw me into their worlds with wonderful performances, and beautiful music ferries me through the show. And when I was asked to come back to my high school to teach the tech crew how to operate the sound and light boards, of course I had to help.

            Returning to theater gives me a chance to reflect on what lessons and parallels I can draw. Most salient to me is the process by which characters are made legible (made comprehensible) on stage, and how I make myself legible to others by playing a script that others can understand based on notions of familiarity and acceptability. For example, in the case of many members of my former high school’s drama club, they must make themselves and their lives legible in a limited range of forms to access scholarships and better education on their college essays. I play the part of a medical student; therefore, I must play it adequately by exuding confidence and competence. If I were to falter at playing this part, I would expect some derision from my peers based on previous experiences of failing at playing my roles appropriately.

 “What have I done to myself to make myself more legible?” I often ask myself.

Adam Wilson, M1, CLass of 2026
Continue reading “Scripted”

Finding a Friend, Finding a Home

Emily Casteen, M1, Class of 2026

The blizzard smothered the squeaky old subway as it slowly pressed toward the station. Nighttime had arrived, and the darkness was brightened only by a bit of shimmer from the ice and snow that stubbornly prevailed against any shovel. I rested against my cold, hardened seat, ready to enter this frosty wonderland with a new sense of excitement; I was going somewhere new. Comfortable in my alone-ness, I was quickly awakened from this slumber as I exited the station. I was lost in the city with every street sign covered in a white blanket that chilled me to my core. 

Not long later, a shadow made itself out to be a friendly face, a fellow lost traveler. “Where’s the door?!” she shouted, her voice rising above the gusts. Traversing together, we found not only the door but also a piping hot pizza waiting for us inside; we had finally arrived. Thawed by the pepperoni and the conversations of those around me, I warmed up to folks who would become close friends—the kind that have you over for dinner and make their home your home—and experienced the deepest joy as I opened my life up to these new people. 

Continue reading “Finding a Friend, Finding a Home”

Dr. QeeQee Gao, MD

Everyone has a story, and each story is unique, intimate, and powerful. Our Narrative series invites you to step inside someone else’s life by reading their story, as told in their own words. Readers, please come open-minded and ready to engage in one of the many stories that makes our community complete. The following is the narrative of Dr. QeeQee Gao, MD, founder of Med Intima, KUSOM alumna, and first-year psychiatry resident at UPenn.

Continue reading “Dr. QeeQee Gao, MD”

2022 Gold Humanism Honor Society Solidarity Week: Reflections

2022 Gold Humanism Honor Society Solidarity Week: Reflections

Each year, the national Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) celebrates and commemorates compassionate patient care during the GHHS Solidarity Week. This year the KU GHHS chapter asked its faculty, resident, and student members to reflect on what it means to be a physician –particularly what it means to be a compassionate, humanistic physician. We hope you can join us this week in celebration and reflection of your personal and professional journey, and how to continually strive for compassionate, kind, and gentle human-centered care.

To learn more about the GHHS Solidarity Week, visit their website.

When both parties can see each other in the light of mutual understanding, healing may begin.  

Kate Rampon, MD
Continue reading “2022 Gold Humanism Honor Society Solidarity Week: Reflections”

We still aren’t free

We still aren’t free

Kakra Boye-Doe, M4, Class of 2022

To this day, the promises of Juneteenth have yet to be actualize. In 2021, over 150 years after the Emancipation proclamation and two years after, when all salves heard of their “freedom”, we still are not free.

Earlier this week, President Biden signed into law a bill that recognized Juneteenth as a National holiday. Juneteenth is the commeration of the day when federal troops took control of the state of Texas to ensure the freedom of slaves, June 19th, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation, itself, was a performative gesture. It only freed slaves under Confederate control.

Continue reading “We still aren’t free”

I am free

I am free

Kakra Boye-Doe, M4, Class of 2022

I didn’t think I would ever get to this point in my life, if I am being honest. I have hated a major part of myself since I was eight years old. I remember, as I am sure anyone who was raised in a Christian family would, praying to God that he would take this feeling away from me. The feeling I was describing was having an attraction to the same sex. I ran away from these thoughts and feelings as much as I could, but I could only get so far. I remember hearing people in church describing the abomination of homosexuality — destined for an eternity in hell. Hell ain’t it for me so I decided that wasn’t an option. I needed to suppress my attraction to men so I could be chilling in heaven. Suffice to say that didn’t work — and I am glad it didn’t work. What resulted out of this attempt was years of hating a part of myself; begging to God to take this away from me and trying to come to terms with how a merciful, loving God could have no mercy on individuals simply for something they have no control of. I now reject that notion that homosexuality is a hell sentence. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, fine — but a sin is a sin. Which makes my “sin” no better or worse than yours. But Christians choose what “sin” takes precedent over another. I reject that notion on the basis of love. I believe that it is not the case that homosexuality is a sentence to hell and I would implore “Christians” who are spreading that message to do a great deal of introspection — why does this bother you so much? Additionally, you “Christians” are doing a great disservice to the religion that you so fervently claim is about love — this isn’t love. This is hate. Full stop.

Continue reading “I am free”