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
Service: The Extra Mile

Behind the wheel of the 27-foot U-haul I’d rented, with my sedan following in-tow close behind, I arrived in Yakima, Washington.

After a stressful 10-hour drive – and with my pregnant wife and kids scheduled to arrive at a later date -- I was in charge of managing our accrued belongings and moving into our new place.

I had contacted fellow members of our church in the area that I had not met, and was greeted by their smiling faces when I pulled in around 9:30 on a Wednesday evening. Having possessions that I could not have moved alone made me all the more grateful that they cared to come help. After two hours of unloading, one of them even gave me a bag of toiletries and some frozen burritos as a parting gift.

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Brandon Robison
Death Can Be Beautiful

We always joked that my dad would be early to his own funeral.  If he wasn't 10 minutes early, he was late. 

Let's back up.  My dad, an 87-year-old retired minister, still drove his car up until a week before he passed. His wife (my mom) and he have been married 60 years.  Mom has had Alzheimer's for ten years -- five of which she's been living in a memory care center.  He has been faithfully visiting her, even though she can no longer communicate.  She has a smile that brightens the day like a 3-month-old baby.  They sit together and hold hands.

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Ann Hittle
What Your Bathroom Experience is Telling You

Some health concerns, such as diet and exercise, seem to be constant sources for public conversation. Each person can obtain a great deal of information on what food they should eat and what types of exercises they should perform, and most people understand that if you have a six pack and eat plenty of veggies you could be considered a healthy individual.

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Konstantin Tachan
Talk About Death - It Won't Kill You

A patient in his late 80s with chronic heart failure was presented to the Emergency Department. He had low blood pressure, trouble breathing, and chest pain, and it was decided that he would need intensive monitoring of his vital signs with frequent medication adjustments. He was destined for a room in the ICU. 

For whatever reason, however, the admitting cardiologist failed to discuss a ‘code status’ with him before sending him to the ICU. 

That small error had tragic consequences. 

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Kathryn Buckman
A Girl's Guide to Safer Sex

Newsflash, ladies: your body gives you a lot of power in sexual decision making.  

But, as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben once said (that’s right, I’m quoting a fictional superhero's uncle…), “with great power comes great responsibility.” 

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Heather Bird
We Are Not Gods

I had a God complex.

It was 2005, and I had just graduated US Army medic training. Looking back now, I suppose most people suffer from the same complex when they first become medical providers.

The fairytale storyline of the medical provider miraculously saving every patient they see is perpetuated by popular media and often not dispelled by our training. If you need any evidence, just flip on your television and tune into any number of shows showcasing miraculous medical interventions.

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Joshua Stanfield
Everyone Poops...but me.

t’s Valentine’s Day.  My boyfriend is cooking me dinner and scrumptious aromas fill my apartment.  I longingly want to eat the delicious food currently filling my oven. However my achy, bloaty stomach is trying to convince me otherwise. It’s been almost a week since I’ve had a bowel movement and I have no desire to eat. Maybe if I take a laxative I’ll be able to clear my system and eat! Horrible idea.

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Jessica Lancaster
Nature or Nurture? Or Does Nature Nurture?

Modern day medical school involves an inordinate amount of time spent sitting inside staring at a screen. Quite separate from the volume and difficulty of the material I need to learn in my classes, this fact is what makes medical school mentally and emotionally challenging.

Last spring and summer -- up until the time orientation started -- I spent every day outside in nature. I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for 4 months until I had to be in Yakima for school. The transition was shocking and extremely difficult.

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Ryley Hausken