A central aspect of Med Intima’s mission is to “celebrate the unique, intimate story of each individual.” More specifically, our editorial board hopes this can be a space for important conversation and discovery. To this end, we are featuring the voices and initiatives taking place at KUMC in pursuit of racial equality. Below, you will find educational resources, as well as short narratives highlighting how individuals and organizations are combatting systemic racism, sharing their stories, and improving medical education for Black students.
We hope that by engaging with this page of Med Intima, medical students will be better equipped to serve their communities as future physicians. Please note that this is far from a comprehensive list, and that we hope the resources and narratives we provide below can act as an introduction to a more open dialogue.
Our entire mission statement can be found at: https://medintima.com/about/
This post was adapted from the University of Washington School of Medicine: https://faculty.uwmedicine.org/55-word-stories/. Likewise, the instructions used to solicit these reflections were adapted from Sheetz, A and Fry, M The Stories, JAMA 2000 Vol 283(15)1934.
Sharing our experiences in health care, especially during intense, emotional, or stressful times increases our connectedness and well-being. Hearing stories from others helps us know we are not alone, and strengthens our community. The authenticity, compassion, creativity, and bravery of our colleagues help us access our own emotions, and helps us carry on.
John Price, M4, Class of 2020
The night was young when the radio crackled to life. We couldn’t believe our luck. They told us the search and rescue missions wouldn’t start for another week, but here we had someone that couldn’t continue their hike. Eager to test our skills, we quickly gathered our supplies into the truck ambulance. When I look back on all my clinical experiences, the Philmont rotation outside of Cimarron, New Mexico, is certainly my favorite. Established in 1938 as Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp, Philmont Scout Ranch has become a center for high adventure and training.1 For emergency medical technician students and medical students like me, this site offers a unique clinical training in wilderness and prehospital medicine high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rockies.1 Below the peaks in basecamp, the Philmont Infirmary is the central hub for this medical four-week sub-internship rotation, and it all began on my first night.
Hebron Kelecha, Class of 2021
The United States is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate. These rates are not equally distributed, with Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women being 2-3 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than White women. These alarming rates are not limited to those with lower socioeconomic status but transcend both class and educational level. A study in New York City showed Black women with a college education are more likely to experience life-threatening complications during delivery than a White woman who did not complete high school.
Nate Cameron, M1, Class of 2023
“and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another…”
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The first time I discovered books could lie to me was the summer before seventh grade, laboring through Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s novel opens in an almost confessional tone, explaining to me— the dedicated reader— that another novel couldn’t be trusted to fully tell the truth. In this way, I stumbled upon what literary people call “unreliable narrators.” The experience was one of my first storytelling revelations— characters possessed the capacity to withhold, modify, or even forget information in the stories I was reading. Huck Finn planted seeds of awareness, if not distrust, for future narrators I would encounter.
Daniel Ortiz, M4, Class of 2020
Two interviews in and I feel like I’m saying too much and getting it all wrong. They’re going to hate my scores. What if they don’t like my answers? Why am I so anxious? I just want this to be the right place for me. This might sound like that time we all applied to medical school, but I’m referring to residency interviews as a fourth-year medical student.