“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” The words read on Sunday came floating back into my mind as I wiped the dried blood off my 10-year-old patient’s foot, ankle, and shin. Her earlier crying had quieted to the occasional sob, and she was laying back on the emergency room gurney. Ten new stitches sat in a row underneath her knee, holding together her cut from the playground. I peeked a glance when I knew she was looking away, unable to stop checking that everything was in place.
Do any of you feel a little bit…empty in medical school? If you don’t, you should read this anyways. But if so, you are definitely not alone. In fact, you have that in common with a majority of your fellow mid-20’s millennials. Referring to this time as a ‘quarter life crisis’ is no longer tongue-in-cheek. While we are accomplishing tasks, deepening our medical knowledge, and strengthening our resumes, there are many questions that can bubble up under the surface of this busyness: Is all of this worth it? Will it provide me a fulfilling and sustaining life? What do I have outside of medicine?
Justin Coogle is a published writer of the Kingdom Come series.
1 year before the events of Kingdom Come
I MISS MY old school, this new one is too lonely. No one is interested in being friends with me here, it’s probably because I came in late. I used to try to sit with a group of other boys during lunch, but they kept ignoring me. My teacher is really nice, her name is Miss Flora. She says that she is a master gardener and that we are her valuable flowers. I don’t like being called a flower. Flowers get stepped on a lot. The bell is about to ring for recess and my hands are sweaty. I can’t say I want to use the bathroom this time, I just went a few minutes ago. Maybe if I said I was sick? But I don’t look real sick, and I don’t want Miss Flora to think I am a liar. I really don’t want to go to recess. There is no where I can hide from them.
In celebration of Black History Month, this month’s narratives are dedicated to highlighting the voices of students who identify as black. Each story is unique, intimate, and powerful. Readers, please come open-minded and ready to engage with the following stories. More importantly, be ready to interface with an intimate space and allow yourself to step inside someone else’s life. The following is the narrative of Kakra Boye-Doe, a first-year medical student at KUMC. Enjoy.