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.
Hebron Kelecha, Class of 2021
The United States is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate. These rates are not equally distributed, with Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women being 2-3 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than White women. These alarming rates are not limited to those with lower socioeconomic status but transcend both class and educational level. A study in New York City showed Black women with a college education are more likely to experience life-threatening complications during delivery than a White woman who did not complete high school.
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.
This post was adapted from the University of Washington School of Medicine: https://faculty.uwmedicine.org/55-word-stories/. 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.
Written by: KUMC School of Medicine
Read on for holiday rituals that include Christmas eve, pajamas, Run DMC, cats, sleepovers, Indian food, Chinese food, and more. Continue reading
Linzy Kirkpatrick, M1, Class of 2023
The iridescent glow of cellophane windows
wraps the building in a blanket of fuchsia and blue,
a playful dance of colors that shift
as I walk past. It’s the first
of many similar days to come.
The corridors whisk me through a
playful maze, a tenuous
barrier between the parents
who wait for news and those of us who
Connor Stubblefield, M2, Class of 2022
Hidden down in darkest cloister, depth of all the earth, a Stone, directed slowly upward through layers of time and story, waited.
The Stone was defined, yet not, sequestered mystery, definition down, dampened, the mirror darkened. Continue reading
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.
Miranda Heppler, M2, Class of 2022
Lounging through the midday once again
Clouds looming, window ajar, my mind’s unable to attend
To the task at hand: commitment to learning; endless memorization
I wish I could exude more dedication to attaining this vocation Continue reading
Ben Harstine, M3, Class of 2021
Round the table
Sit one by one
We talk, we vote
Another decision done.
Sixty-five and sick
Tumor load too large
It must be time to go on.
A tumor again
One more shot
Hope not lost,