Is ‘The Good Doctor’ Any Good at Representing Neurodiversity?

By Kayhan Parsi

The Good Doctor recently debuted on ABC.  Billed as an unconventional medical drama, it features an autistic surgical resident, Dr. Shaun Murphy, played by Freddie Highmore.  As a parent of an autistic adolescent, I welcome more varied depictions of autistic individuals in popular culture.  Unfortunately, the trailer for the show concerned me, as it played up some now familiar tropes in depicting individuals with autism.  Dr. Murphy is not only autistic but is a savant as well.  The autistic savant is an irresistible cliché for creators of film and television programs.  For example, Dustin Hoffman’s depiction of Raymond in Rain Man is the granddaddy of savants in popular culture.  Raymond was able to count cards at an incredible level, something his estranged brother (played by Tom Cruise) tried to exploit to his own advantage.  The savant trope also reared its head in the recently released Netflix series Atypical featuring an adolescent male with autism (played by Keir Gilchrist).  Although he doesn’t exhibit the kind of genius-level savant characteristics that Dr. Murphy displays, Sam in Atypical goes to a mainstream school, holds down a part-time job, and is struggling with dating…
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DACA MD-PhD Student: “I humbly ask to be given the chance”

By Cesar Montelongo

(These remarks were delivered at a rally of the Stritch School of Medicine student to support their DACA recipient colleagues on September 6, 2017.)

My name is Cesar, I am a DACA recipient and a third year student in the Loyola MD-PhD program, training to be a physician and a scientist.

In 2011 I graduated college with three degrees, two minors, and honors. Months prior to my graduation, the Dream Act failed to pass in Congress.  This was a life changing event:  Had the Dream Act passed, I could have applied to medical school.  Instead I was left stranded, unable to exercise my college degrees, much less attend medical school.  For over a year I struggled, my only hope being that some unforeseen chance would appear…Read More »

A DACA Recipient Asks Her Medical Student Colleagues to Advocate for the DREAM Act

By Alejandra Duran Arreola

(These remarks were delivered at a rally of the Stritch School of Medicine student to support their DACA recipient colleagues on September 6, 2017.)

Hello friends. Thanks for being here. My name is Alejandra Duran Arreola. I am a second-year medical student and part of the 2020 class. I am a physician in training; I am a DACA student; I am your classmate, your volleyball line person, your small group rep. I am you and you are me; we both wear this coat with the purpose of being physicians for others…Read More »

DACA Medical Students- Making America Great Again!

By Kimrey Van Perre

My friends have been called “courageous” for sharing their plight as undocumented students with the US Congress.  They have been called “DREAMers” due to the Dream Act that has been repeatedly introduced in Congress but never passed.  I call them “selfless” and “unrelenting” in their commitment to the medically underserved despite their uncertain legal status.

I am a 3rd year medical student at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM).  I am not a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student.  I was born a US citizen.  But many of my friends at SSOM are DACA students.  Their families, like mine generations ago, immigrated to this country.  They wanted their children to have opportunities and to grow up in a safe and stable country…
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Stories from the Border: Hearing the Voice of All Community Members

By Audrey Hertenstein

We shuffled through the metal detector and were directed to stand with our backs against a wall – the final step in an hour long process to enter the Florence, AZ Detention Center to visit with detainees the organization Mariposas sin Fronteras had been communicating with to offer assistances such as letters of community support and a friendly voice to reach out to.  The guards ushered me and the other Loyola students through several locked doors and into a visitation room where we were only allowed one hour to meet, rules which seemed much too strict for a person whose only crime had been seeking asylum within our borders…
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ICYMI: The Best of Reflective MedEd 2016

With the holidays upon us, we are taking this opportunity to showcase a few excellent posts from the year gone by.  We invite you to check out these highly popular posts.

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Darrell G. Kirch, MD, “Educating for Resilience and Humanism in an Uncertain Time.”

https://reflectivemeded.org/2016/09/27/educating-for-resilience-and-humanism-in-an-uncertain-time/

 

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Hedy Wald, PhD, “Becoming Zusha: Reflecting on Potential in Medical Education and Practice.”

https://reflectivemeded.org/2016/03/09/becoming-zusha-reflecting/

 

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Sunny Nakae, PhD, “Presence and Vulnerability in Medical Education.” 

https://reflectivemeded.org/2016/02/02/presence-and-vulnerability-in-medical-education/

 

Supporting Your Students in These Troubling Times

By Mark Kuczewski

University and college administrations have shown laudable leadership since the election in offering support to their students who feel under threat.  The strongest and most explicit statements have been in regard to undocumented students who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  As the almost 800,000 persons of DACA status could be sent back “into the shadows” by the next president, numerous universities have made statements elaborating the steps they will take to protect these students and supply them with legal and social support services. [1,2]

Furthermore, many other students including persons of color and students from the Muslim and Jewish faith traditions also are encountering increased interpersonal hostility and they fear potential discriminatory policies such as the rumored “Muslim registry.”  As a result, many universities and colleges have done a variety of things to support them including offering discussion forums and creating “safe spaces” where students can express their concerns without debate.  But many educators wish to know what they personally can do to help.  Let me offer a few suggestions…
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