Tag Archives: writing

Why Med Learners are Asked to “Reflect,” And What Does It Even Mean?

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How students should think about reflection when the word isn’t always well-defined.

TL;DR

  • Whether it’s a class assignment, a personal statement, or a scholarship essay, students are often commanded to reflect on their experiences.
  • Reflection is can be a useful part of understanding what you are becoming. But what that means and how to do it are frequently not well defined.
  • Our M4 co-hosts discuss whether their fears about the residency application process were well-founded or just wheel spinning.
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Listener Empirica Soberface (not her real name) called in to ask us about reflection–something medical learners are often asked to do during their education–saying that it doesn’t come naturally to her. So Dave invited Cate Dicharry, the director of the Writing and Humanities Program here at the Carver College of Medicine, to come on and give us her thoughts on this common assignment. M4s Emma Barr and Madeline Cusimano, M3 Ananya Munjal, and MD/PhD student Riley Behan-Bush are on hand to supply some of their ideas on how best to process what it is they’ve been becoming.

Emma and Madeline also discuss the fears they had about interviewing for their future residency jobs, the anxiety that many senior medical students are feeling right now, and whether their fears were realized or proven to be wheel-spinning.

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How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

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Dr. Bruce Campbell, and a Fullness of Uncertain Significance

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A cancer surgeon’s stories offer lessons of humility and grace

TL;DR

  • Medicine is filled with both the momentous and the prosaic.  Yet every interaction is a chance to process and understand the impact one person can both have and be subject to.
  • Dr. Campbell suggests students start journaling their experiences early.  Not only might this lead to a lovely book of essays near the end of a career, but it’s also a great tool to track the fleeting experiences that will much sooner make a great personal statement!
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In this episode, M2s Nicole Hines, AJ Chowdhury, Sarah Costello and M1 Zach Shepard visit with the author of a new book, A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace.  Dr. Bruce Campbell is also a head and neck cancer surgeon at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  The book is a series of short vignettes from Dr. Campbell’s life in medicine from as far back as his first experiences as a nursing assistant in 1973.  A blend of the momentous and prosaic, they offer the medical learner a glimpse of what a veteran doctor has seen, and the conclusions he’s drawn from his privileged window into the lives of the people he’s met over nearly 50 years.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Continue reading Dr. Bruce Campbell, and a Fullness of Uncertain Significance

Medicine and the Arts? They get along just fine.

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This week, a bit of a departure from our usual format.  M2 Eric Wilson files a report on how medicine and the humanities, and specifically writing, are interacting with each other in ways that not long go would have seemed unlikely.  Medical schools either have or are beginning to embrace the humanities as a way to build empathy and reflect on how medicine is practiced.  Our own Carver College of Medicine, part of ‘The Writing University‘, was naturally among the first to celebrate the fit between writing and medicine by establishing a Writing and Humanities Program for its students.  
Serena Fox, Louise Aronson, and Rachel Hammer

If you’re pre-med, a medical student, or a doc yourself, and you’ve been trying to reconcile a love for writing and art with a love for medicine and science, Eric’s interviews with poet and critical care doc Serena Fox, geriatrician and fiction writer Louise Aronson, and Mayo Clinic med student Rachel Hammer will give you some comfort.  As they each prepared to visit Iowa for the eighth annual Examined Life Conference, they talked about what writing offers them in their practice of medicine.

Listen to Episode 032: Medicine and the Arts? They get along just fine..

Listen to more great shows for medical students on The Vocalis Podcast Network.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Marilynne Robinson and Gilead

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Here at the Carver College of Medicine, on the campus of the University of Iowa which is famous for its legacy of writing and writers, we are lucky enough to receive occasional visits from some pretty outstanding authors.  Recently, during the annual CCOM Reads contest, medical students were encouraged to read author and Iowa Writers’ Workshop Professor Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, a novel for which she won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  It’s an account of the memories of John Ames of his father and grandfather, all of whom are Congregationalist ministers in Gilead, Iowa.  After the contest was over, we asked Ms. Robinson to visit with the students to talk about her writing of the novel.

Listen: Episode 022 – Marilynne Robinson and Gilead

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.