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 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 »
By Jody Platto
Since graduating from Wellesley College in 2015, I have experienced a paradigm shift from always searching for what is next to remaining committed to what lies straight ahead. Strong personal and professional mentorship in my first career as a professional athlete set the stage for me to excel when I resumed my university education. At Wellesley, mentorship again played a key role when I joined a neuroscience lab. Inspiring leaders helped me to gain the skills and confidence to succeed, encouraging me to take whatever career path I chose. But choosing was hard!
Now, as a second year medical student, this lifetime of support from powerful mentorship and a healthy respect for transformation guide me in navigating – and sticking with – my burgeoning career…Read More »
By Steve Goldstein
On August 19, 2017, I offered the keynote address at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Class of 2021 White Coat Ceremony. It was an honor to address this class, my first as dean. I had welcomed the students during orientation when they were absorbing a great deal—rules, responsibilities, schedules, safety, organization– and met with them during discussions of a book we all read recounting the rich, complex career of pediatrician– events when they were in a focused, serious mood. This day, however, the student’s were with their families and excited, bolstered by well-deserved pride, and filled with the shared mission of improving the world through the practice of medicine. Below are the thoughts I shared in my address to the class as they began their formal training as first-year medical students…
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By Shannon Tapia
Medical School is rough. Fortunately there is a recent movement to make medical education more humane. The movement to bring humanity, ethics, and love back into the molding of our future physicians is crucial. Personally, I felt my medical school was on the forefront of this push. Perhaps it was because we had Jesuit priests for attendings and the hospital’s motto of “We also treat the human spirit” filtered into the treatment of students. Whether it was something about myself or my medical school, I was fortunate to never experience the depression, competitive urges, burnout and isolation that is so prevalent during American medical school years…
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By Trent Reed and Sunny Nakae
Many medical students struggle with fear, pride, priorities, regrets, and insecurities, but the liberty to disclose such feelings may be limited. Students often avoid sharing their challenges and feelings with their peers for fear of looking weak or due to shame. How can we destigmatize sharing among students to build resilience, foster community, and improve well-being?
A week prior to match day we received almost 70 anonymous secrets from our senior medical students at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Reed solicited these messages from the students by explaining the premise to them. The exercise is based on the work of Frank Warren who created postsecret.com. The students were not given guidance regarding topics or tone; they were simply asked to submit an anonymous secret…
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By Sunny Nakae
The Stritch School of Medicine received 11,355 applications for 160 seats for the 2016-2017 season. Thousands of applicants have the required coursework, strong grades and test scores. The word is out that students need volunteer work, clinical exposure, leadership, and research in order to be competitive. Every applicant submits a primary personal statement as well as responses to school-specific supplemental questions. As an admissions dean who reads hundreds of applications per year, I would like to offer some advice to all the premeds out there who are looking for a competitive edge: reflection is key to achieving and demonstrating personal growth…
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By Meaghan P. Ruddy
Paying attention to the wider trends in medical education recently makes it difficult to miss the growing voice of Pamela Wible, MD and her crusade to end physician, resident and medical student suicides. One premise of her argument is that all the language around burnout and resilience misses the point. The point it misses? This demographic is suffering from abuse.
I tend to agree. To this I would add that the result is not burnout but the closely related state of grief…
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