By Claudio Violato
As a professor and researcher studying the experiences of physicians, including international medical doctors (IMDs), I have interviewed and studied many hundreds of doctors. These doctors have come from over 35 countries from every continent in the world speaking more than 50 languages. I have heard their stories, why they left their home countries and faced many challenges trying to enter the medical profession in Canada or the United States…
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By David C. Leach
William Butler Yeats said: “We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves poetry.” During the course of normal human development most people at some point have had their hearts broken, cherished beliefs challenged, paradoxes entertained or have been lonely or felt abandoned. Sometimes these moments can offer powerful prompts to turn inward and to enhance one’s reflective capacities, one’s poetic repertoire, and this in turn can enable learners and faculty to be more compassionate and reflective practitioners. The alternative responses, hardening the heart, embracing idols, not honoring the paradox or becoming ever more isolated can have devastating effects on both the learner and their patients. Moving from rhetoric to poetry is an important skill for learners to develop…
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By Michael Dauzvardis
Place: gross anatomy lab
Music playing softly in the background: Your Body is a Wonderland, by John Mayer
“I’ve been at it for 4 hours and still can’t find the greater occipital nerve!” barks Joe, a first year medical student meticulously dissecting the posterior neck region on his cadaver— which he has nick-named Marvin.
Emily, one of Joe’s four dissection partners, quips “Perhaps that’s what killed Marvin—the congenital lack of a left greater occipital nerve!”
“Hilarious, “Joe retorts “Remind me to laugh.”
At that instant, Joe, in a moment of frustration, slips and forcibly plunges his scalpel into the neck musculature– striking bone.
Emily cautiously points, smiles, and adds “Oh—I didn’t know the greater occipital nerve was hollow.”
Joe, with his overzealous dissection technique, had managed to cut through both the greater occipital nerve and occipital artery.
“You’ll make a fine psychiatrist” taunts Emily.
Joe sets down his scalpel, rips off his gloves, and sulks out of the lab…
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By Sunny Nakae
In my MSW program I took a diversity and social justice course. The class was very engaged and often intense; we became well acquainted as we shared our stories. Mid-way through the semester the instructor assigned us to read an article from our local newspaper about living with HIV. The article, unbeknownst to the instructor, happened to feature an individual in our class. Everyone was acutely aware as we shuffled into the classroom that day. We did not know what to expect…Read More »
By Mark Kuczewski
Helping medical students to gain cultural awareness and insight into the experience of patients and families from backgrounds different than their own is no small task. And the search for poignant materials that are easily fit within the demanding environment of a medical school curriculum is never-ending. The good news is that I can unequivocally recommend Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Lee & Low Books, 2011). This narrative will help students to gain insight into the meaning of illness within families, especially within the context of a particular contemporary newly-arrived Mexican-American family…Read More »
Content: Reflective MedEd welcomes submissions from educators and students in medical schools and related health professions. We also welcome contributions from the perspective of patients, and scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and public policy. In short, we seek entries from anyone whose insights regarding educational method and content or the social and interpersonal context of medicine can assist in developing future physicians who respect their patients in the fullness of their humanity and can be leaders for social justice in medicine and society. Thus, we welcome a wide variety of types of narratives and ask that they be written in a clear, direct, conversational style…Read More »