Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

A central aspect of Med Intima’s mission is to “celebrate the unique, intimate story of each individual.” More specifically, our editorial board hopes this can be a space for important conversation and discovery. To this end, we are featuring the voices and initiatives taking place at KUMC in pursuit of racial equality. Below, you will find educational resources, as well as short narratives highlighting how individuals and organizations are combatting systemic racism, sharing their stories, and improving medical education for Black students.

We hope that by engaging with this page of Med Intima, medical students will be better equipped to serve their communities as future physicians. Please note that this is far from a comprehensive list, and that we hope the resources and narratives we provide below can act as an introduction to a more open dialogue.

Our entire mission statement can be found at:

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R.I.P. White Coat

Miranda Machacek, M4, Class of 2020

I laid my original white coat to rest at a beach in Auckland, New Zealand after my final day of an international clinical rotation.  White coat disposal ceremonies are a tradition I must confess I have greatly anticipated. I had grown to resent that coat and what it meant.  Its characteristic short length was an immediate signal to any healthcare professional in the hospital that I was a student – perhaps to some savvy patients as well.  I frequently felt the weight of the “student” label while walking through the hospital. The real or imagined looks of patients, nurses, residents, and attendings that said I was a temporary time-waster at best and utterly incompetent at worst.  

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A Philmont Experience

John Price, M4, Class of 2020

The night was young when the radio crackled to life.  We couldn’t believe our luck. They told us the search and rescue missions wouldn’t start for another week, but here we had someone that couldn’t continue their hike. Eager to test our skills, we quickly gathered our supplies into the truck ambulance.  When I look back on all my clinical experiences, the Philmont rotation outside of Cimarron, New Mexico, is certainly my favorite. Established in 1938 as Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp, Philmont Scout Ranch has become a center for high adventure and training.1  For emergency medical technician students and medical students like me, this site offers a unique clinical training in wilderness and prehospital medicine high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rockies.1  Below the peaks in basecamp, the Philmont Infirmary is the central hub for this medical four-week sub-internship rotation, and it all began on my first night.

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55 Word Reflections on COVID-19

This post was adapted from the University of Washington School of Medicine: 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. 

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A Week In Hell

Nathan Stacy, M2, Class of 2022

 My momma was recently diagnosed with cancer of her jaw. She underwent something called a “Flap Surgery”, which removed part of her jaw and replaced it with her leg bone. These are some of my reflections about the experience my family went through during this trying time. I wrote some during this time period, and some afterwards, so the past-tense/present-tense jumps around a little bit.

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Schrödinger’s Residency Application: Reflecting on My Life as a Student

Daniel Ortiz, M4, Class of 2020

Two interviews in and I feel like I’m saying too much and getting it all wrong. They’re going to hate my scores. What if they don’t like my answers? Why am I so anxious? I just want this to be the right place for me. This might sound like that time we all applied to medical school, but I’m referring to residency interviews as a fourth-year medical student.

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Caps for Sale

David Embers – Class of 2020

Four-year-old David was a simple guy. He loved to eat, he loved to argue, but most of all, he loved to wear hats. He loved cowboy hats, baseball hats, and party hats. Any kind of hat. An odd obsession for sure, especially when his head was so egregiously large. Regardless, it was his first love. His favorite book to read at bedtime was Caps for Sale, a children’s book detailing the life of a cap peddler who was unique in that he wore all the hats he had for sale on his own head. My mom and dad must have read me that book a thousand times. I can still recite entire pages from memory. I spent hours thinking about how happy that hat salesman must have been. Considering its intended audience was pre-kindergarten, the book’s author likely did not anticipate impacting a reader so deeply, but that’s an issue to take up with pudgy, argumentative, cap wearing four-year-old David. How frustrating must it be to be my parents? You pick out some random book at the bookstore hoping your kid will fall asleep by page four like he does every other book. Instead, he forces you to re-read it over and over again. And then, the next day, when you need help putting away dishes, he’s standing there eating his eighth popsicle, daydreaming about how many hats he can balance on his head. Whatever my parents got paid to put up with me, it wasn’t enough. And yet, as it stands today, some twenty years later, I’m still thinking about that book. Popsicle in hand, I’m still thinking about what it really means to wear all the hats.

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Nathan Stacy, M2, Class of 2022

My fiancé’s Grandpa is a man you won’t easily forget. He commands a room. A natural born storyteller, with 80 years of experience spinning yarns, he can paint a vivid picture that completely draws you in, in a heartbeat.

He was spinning one of his yarns to me as we took his 4-wheeler (the Gator) to tour his farm fields. Continue reading

Reach for the Moon, End up a Fleming

David Embers, M4, Class of 2020

I remember 4th grade like it was yesterday, likely because that is when I peaked. It could have been a fun year, but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t. You see, my podmates all had cooties. You read that right, ALL of my podmates. It was me and three girls: Brooke, Sasha, and Rebecca. All confirmed cooties. What a joke. In hindsight, Mrs. Stevenson did it on purpose because she knew me and my best friend Josh were tight as heck and could have basically taught the class if we wanted to. But whatever.

Anyway, at the front of the room above the chalkboard was a poster. “Reach for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.” It was catchy. No lie, the first few times I read that it gave me goosebumps. Thought I might just mess around and change the world. Made me want to be extra precise on the folds for my construction paper popper that would inevitably get taken away before recess. Made me want to be somebody.

Now, looking back, I laugh at 4th grade David. In fact, I want to slap him in the back of the head. Continue reading