Life Beyond Pathology: Marfan Syndrome

This blog is about a horrible disease and an amazing family. Unfortunately, it is far too short to do justice to either.  One winter evening while I was attending college, I found myself vigorously knocking on the door of a kind, middle-aged lady. Everybody knew her as Mrs. C, and her son Liam was one of my housemates and closest friends. Liam had Marfan syndrome, which was the reason I desperately had to wake up Mrs. C that night.  

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Greg Doornick
Don't Get Sick After June

An elderly woman with long, grey hair drawn back into a single braid sat in the padded chair adjacent to mine at a conference table. "We have a saying around here," she said. ”Don't get sick after June.”

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Hannah Udell
Compassion Amongst Differences: Lessons From My Time Working in a Homeless Shelter for Pregnant Women

As future physicians, we will be treating people from backgrounds different than our own; we’ll be tasked with caring for people whose experiences may not be imaginable to us. Interacting, communicating, building trust and relationships, showing respect and empathy are some of the most important things we do. To do this successfully, physicians must have a deeper understanding of other cultures and a respect for each individual’s unique experience. In my medical training, I’ve discovered that this approach is a beneficial one for all of us to take. 

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Nicole Odlum
Changing Our Stripes: Sometimes It IS a Zebra

As a new professor at PNWU, I've often struggled with what to teach first- and second-year medical students.

They are bombarded with information during their first two years of medical education, so I was advised to stick to the basics. After all, they will get more depth in their clinical rotations and residency. So, what should I focus on most in those first two years of their medical educations?

“Stick to the horses!”

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Julie Habecker

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