Dianne Silvestri, MD, a retired academic physician, is author of the chapbook Necessary Sentiments. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Naugatuck River Review, Poetry South, The Worcester Review, The Healing Muse, New Limestone Review, Zingara Poetry Review, The Main Street Rag, American Journal of Nursing, JAMA Oncology, and elsewhere. She is Copy-Editor of the journal Dermatitis and is founder and leader of Natick’s Morse Poetry Group in Massachusetts.
By Erik Carlson
“Hospital’s on lockdown.”
The security guard didn’t even throw us a backward glance as he shouted the news over his shoulder before continuing on his brisk jog around the floor. I turned to the chaplain I was shadowing that Friday afternoon. A Dominican sister from the Dominican Republic, she called herself a “Double Dominican.”
“Why is the hospital on lockdown?” I asked, trepidation coloring my voice gray.
“That’s hospital procedure whenever they bring in a gunshot victim. Would you like to go? They’ll need a chaplain, so I’ll be going.”
During our first year, my medical school requires students to shadow a chaplain in the university hospital. These chaplains, who come from a variety of faith traditions and backgrounds, address the emotional and spiritual needs of patients, often liaising between the medical team and the patients’ families. Before entering the hospital that afternoon, I was determined to put aside any preformed notions about healthcare and spirituality and to approach the experience with as open a mind as possible.Read More »
By Cesar E. Montelongo Hernandez
Last week a federal appeals court upheld the ruling that blocks the Trump administration from ending DACA. This means the nationwide injunction that allows DACA to remain will stay in place. Despite this, the legal battle will continue and likely head to The Supreme Court of the United States. DACA recipients have been granted a few months of respite but their long-term outlook is still very uncertain.
I am currently in my fourth year of medical school. In total the combined MD-PhD program takes eight years to complete (an MD degree alone takes four years). Students begin by completing two years of the MD, switching over to the PhD for about four years, then coming back to complete the last two years of the MD. At present I have completed two years of the MD degree and I am in the second year of the PhD degree. Ideally, I will complete the PhD degree by 2021 and the MD degree by 2023.Read More »
By Sunny Nakae
In May the Stritch alumni magazine published a cover feature article about our first cohort of DACA recipients admitted to the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and their impending graduation. We received both positive and negative correspondence about this feature. What follows is a compilation of complaints I received from some alumni and a summary of the responses I offered.
“As an alum I am disappointed in your policy to admit DACA recipients over US citizens. Because you are admitting non-US citizens that means a US citizen will not get a seat. Supporting undocumented students violates Federal Law. Did these DACA recipients get ‘affirmative action’ status? Candidates should get admitted because of their credentials, not because they are minorities or immigrants. What constitutes the right minority? It seems like Japanese, Korean and Chinese are no longer considered minorities but smaller Asian groups like Hmong are? In my graduating class there are many of us who will no longer be supporting the school.”
Dear Stritch Alum,
Thank you, sincerely, for expressing your current views on our decision to accept MD applications from DACA recipients. This happened in 2012 with the support of our then dean, Dr. Linda Brubaker, and our then president, Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J The inclusion of DACA recipients continues to receive full support from our current dean, Dr. Steven Goldstein, and our president, Dr. JoAnn Rooney. It seems from your email that you might not have all of the facts for the situation, so I would like to open a dialogue and provide those facts for you and any colleagues with whom you wish to share this information. I understand that at first glance this decision may appear to disenfranchise other applicants, specifically those of Asian descent or US citizens. Read More »
By Tim Lahey
Every March I run the last required course at our medical school. It’s a three-week-long, 47-hour sprint – a sort of boot camp for professional formation. We polish clinical skills, revisit foundational sciences, let students pick from a menu of interesting tutorials, and discuss professional formation.
Students grapple with hypothetical gastrointestinal crises on scatalogically-named student teams. They resuscitate rubbery patients with various flavors of hypotension. I don a sparkly red bowtie to MC a game show called Antibiotic Jeopardy.
Throughout, we discuss the evolution of their professional identities. I ask how their idealism has changed during medical school, and every year over 60% say it has waned. We share the stories that shape us, and how they can stay true to the values that brought them to medical school in the first place. Then they hand in a tall stack of confidential essays that I reply to on nights and weekends right up until the day they speak the Hippocratic Oath. Read More »
by Zarna Patel
I cannot find the right words to describe how it felt when I read news: “School shooting at High School in Southeastern Florida.” Despite the 239 school shootings since Sandy Hook, nothing can prepare you for the numbness of having it happen in your hometown. The way your heart leaps into your throat, the way all sound is muted, the way debilitating fear takes hold from your head to your toes.
“Are you OK? Tell me you’re OK?! Please answer me!” Never in a million years did I think I would have to send a text like that to my 16-year-old cousin, whose biggest worry last weekend was her upcoming SAT test.
Knowing how many innocent children would never return to their parent’s arms that night was paralyzing. I couldn’t close my eyes for more than a few minutes before flashes of my old high school haunted my dreams. The large courtyard we ate lunch in, smeared in blood. The freshman building we loved to hate, filled with kids running away, hand raised. The large auditorium where I spent four years performing, now filled with the cries of distraught children.
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By Shoshana B. Weiner
“4 ounces water every mile, half an electrolyte ‘gu’ pack over 2.5 miles, ¼ energy bar every 6 miles.” AKA how did you manage training for a marathon while in medical school? The simple truth: I decided to run a marathon so I did. Longer story: months of rigorous training, more moments of doubt than I care to recall, and insights already positively impacting my medical training.
Training for and running a marathon is a time-intensive commitment of physical and mental endurance. Age-old lessons of “you can accomplish anything you set your mind to; hard work pays off” hold true and gained new meaning for me. Read More »