“Hey, doc,” our new patient grinned at me without teeth. He wears his teeth to eat peanuts, he explained, but today was hankering for a ham sandwich, so left the teeth at home. Here in the clinic straight from the logging job that he had worked for the past fifty years, he wore steel-toed boots, hands covered in dirt. Clarifying that I was a medical student, I asked ...

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This week I will be taking the physician's oath. I am a person who only makes promises I can keep. Thus, I am struggling with committing myself to certain parts of the oath. Reflecting over the last four years of medical school, I can say with certainty that I hated my medical school experience. I left my family/friends and the diverse, immigrant-cultured society that I've known my whole life for the homogeneous, ...

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If you ask a group of medical students to raise their hands if they are, in fact, racist, I’d venture to guess that not a single hand would shoot up. And I don’t think they would be lying. I am sure that no student believes that he, she, or they are a bigot. Many of us have committed our lives to care for patients regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. ...

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Everyone is in the same situation across the country in these unprecedented times. What a statement. A statement that every medical student has undoubtedly heard in utter multitude during these times of virtual medical curricula in place of clinical curricula -- of canceled steps, levels, CKs, PE, and CS. It has no doubt been challenging on everyone, with some feeling stripped of their opportunity to help and serve their mentors and ...

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Medical schools around the country remain closed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, swapping hands-on learning experience on wards and within the operating room for Zoom lectures and telehealth visits. Ten months ago, this was the furthest thing I imagined as I began my third year of medical school, filled with nervous excitement to move on from the relentless studying required for Step 1 and start seeing patients. ...

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Jason Hargrove, a 50-year-old Detroit bus driver, died from COVID-19 after being turned away from care multiple times while visibly cyanotic. Rana Zoe Mungin, a 30-year-old teacher in Brooklyn, was sent home several times until she was ill enough from the disease to require intubation and ventilation. She has since died. While there are many reasons for these and other racialized ...

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As the gentle rumbles of thunder became increasingly sonorous, the sharp crackles of lightning casting out the darkness of night, striking like the angry whips from a scorned martinet, and the torrential rain now cascading down from our awning like loose waterfalls, making heavy splashes around us every few seconds, I could taste the intoxicating smell of petrichor laced with pot in the air. All the while, we ...

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My phone chimed. I received an email stating that rotations were canceled, so I had effectively graduated medical school while sitting in the parking lot of my local grocery store. It felt like a natural end to an isolating day. That morning, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom.  The streetlights shone against the budding trees and reflected an orange luminosity that refracted against the dewdrops condensed from ...

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Almost immediately, the heat from all of us “freshly minted M1s” dissipated, as did the smiles and excitement on everyone’s faces. The frigid temperature, mimicked the morbidity and mortality interlaced in the air. 38 metal containers. Each carrying the life of an individual who had passed on. Was I feeling dizzy because of the smell of formaldehyde or because of the overwhelming unease? Nothing could have prepared me for this. The ...

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I was waiting for my boyfriend to return back from cleaning his car. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the tears started rolling down my face. I was startled at the sudden deluge. I don’t cry often. We had a small argument earlier in the day, the details of which I won’t divulge here. It made me question where I get my happiness from. It led me to the conclusion that, at least ...

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