I have been out as a gay man to my family and friends for over 12 years. Being gay is an important component of my identity, as is being a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a medical student, etc. However, none of those other components of my identity necessitated “coming out.”

I knew my parents would love me regardless of whether I got into medical school. I wasn’t so sure they would love me if they knew I was gay. Thankfully, they never stopped loving me for one second.

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Jacob Groen
The Preconceived Patient

As a gay man, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of misunderstandings about how being gay relates to health, especially sexual health. Hopefully by reading this, you will gain some insight into this unfortunately taboo topic.

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Thomas Rehder
Health Class: Teaching Mental Health to Children

“So, you’re basically a doctor, right?” facetiously asked my husband Jared, looking up from a lesson plan.

“Only 1/8 of a doctor,” I responded, preparing my lunch for the next day. He laughed.

“So, 1/8 of a doctor: what should I teach these 5th graders about their health? What should I make sure they know?”  

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Anne Keeling
From Teaching to Triage

A reflection on gun violence

I remember that day very vividly. December 14, 2012. I was nearly 3000 miles away, but there is something about being in a school when news of a school shooting breaks that can create an uneasiness that sticks in your memory. I was teaching sixth-grade mathematics and I remember we didn’t have regular class that day- how could we? We spent the day reading the news, watching reports, attempting to answer students’ unanswerable questions. The thing about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is that not only was it was the deadliest school shooting in our nation’s history, but most of the victims were 6- and 7-years old. 

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Maycee Gielow
My Stay at the Boiling Pot

If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will do everything in its power to escape and survive. Oddly, however, if that same frog is placed in a pot of cool water it will stay there, even if the water’s temperature is slowly raised. As it turns out, the frog can get used to these smaller increments of change. 

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John Andrew
Facing Addiction: My Lifelong Battle with a Monster

Sunday, February 17, 2013 found me sitting in a parking lot in Newburg Oregon. I had just sent a text to my dad – ‘How do I do this?’. It was a vague question with an unknown number of answers. The number of ways one could read that question are limitless, as are the ways one could ask it. How did I ask it; I still don’t know entirely. All I knew at that moment is that everything just changed.

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Ryan Ostler
Becoming the Mentor

As a first-generation college graduate, role models were difficult to come by. Most of my life decisions were a series of trial and error.

Figuring it all out on a touch-and-go trial definitely resulted in a fair share of otherwise avoidable missteps along the way, but it eventually accumulated as a collection of experiences. Today, those experiences serve to provide me with the tools to help the next generation of future scientists find their true potential.

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Jonathan Mai