Things Other Than Transplant Surgeons

Hearing the Call:  A Feature on How Physicians and Medical Educators Came to Understand Their Vocation

By Sarah E. Stumbar

Sometime during middle school, I became engrossed in a series of young adult novels about children dying of tragic diseases: heart failure (saved by a heart transplant!) leukemia, cystic fibrosis. I wanted to be a doctor! I wanted to be written into these stories, encompassed by both their tears and their triumphs.

As I continued to read, I traveled with my mom to a conference in Accra, Ghana. We visited the old fortresses of the country’s slave coast and walked through the city; forever kept on the outside by our skin color, which unequivocally meant that we were from elsewhere. The markets selling imported goods from China, the people living exposed on stretches of pavement, and the half-constructed cement buildings spoke to me of immense poverty. I tried to reconcile how this world could coexist with my own comfortable life in New York. The people we met spoke of the AIDS crisis, orphans and a lack of health care resources. The needs were overwhelming to my fourteen year-old-self…
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Time to Heal

Hearing the Call:  A Feature on How Physicians and Medical Educators Came to Understand their Vocation

By Deb Roman

The children tried to cope, but at times, the best they could do was to go into a room and scream, sometimes for more than an hour, emerging exhausted and distant.  They struggled to find comfort in play, unburdened by the weight of their experiences. As a summer intern in this hospital for abused children, I hoped to get experience with a speech therapist on staff, but as I walked the halls after hours, and listened for the children, the depth of their suffering, and the response of the medical director moved me in a way that would change my direction…
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Landing the Role of a Lifetime

Hearing the Call:  A Feature on How Physicians and Medical Educators Came to Understand their Vocation

By Kerensa Peterson

Sometimes, a place just feels right, like home.  When I entered the Clinical Education Center for the first time, I immediately felt calm—an unusual feeling before an audition.  When I arrived, I made my way to a chair in the back of the room where I had a great view of Harvey, the heart simulator.  I wondered how he might fit into this audition scenario.  Two gentlemen walked in and introduced themselves as trainers to a room full of expectant actors.  I was hooked – from the moment they started to explain the role of a Standardized Patient.  I have never before had such a relaxing and intriguing audition… Read More »

My Family Doctor

Hearing the Call:  A Feature on How Physicians and Medical Educators Came to Understand their Vocation

By Janet Piskurich

I grew up in a small steel town not knowing about the immune deficiency that caused me to spend more time in my family doctor’s office than most girls my age.  I still remember the mirror on his forehead, the way his mustache moved when he examined my throat and that he always remembered to ask about the high school football game where I had spent too much time screaming cheers.  My mother was busy at our house and didn’t always accompany me.  The doctor’s office was only a few blocks away, and I could be trusted walk that far and not lose the five dollar bill she gave me to pay him…

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