Breath of Fresh Air

Stop smelling the formaldehyde and stop to smell the flowers.

Take your head out of the textbooks and get up and take a walk.

Go outside, and in the process?
Take a breath of fresh air. Continue Reading →


Refuse to be Owned by Privilege

Today, after my 12 hours spent as a third rider with Greenville County EMS, I was confronted with a very humbling and sobering reality.  I have ridden on the ambulance about 10 times at this point, and I have seen a wide variety of presentations, pathologies, and socioeconomic statuses.  I have seen life through the eyes of first responders such as EMS and police in a variety of situations: everything from abusive spouses, to heart attacks, to suicide attempts, to hoarders, etc.  I have seen wealthy and poor, sick and healthy.  These varied experiences are the exact reason why today, I am wondering why my mind is having such a difficult time processing the things that I saw.  I wonder if the tender spot in my heart is a result of the shooting deaths, riots, oppression, protest, inequality, drug overdoses, terrorist attacks, refugees, wars, and political madness that are currently raging in our country and transpiring across our world.  The ubiquitous nature of news media and social media in our world today makes it challenging to find a moment to pause with our thoughts and consider the true gravity of events.  We are inundated by the stimuli of varied thoughts and ideas bound up in often inflammatory rhetoric that has to this point failed to advance the discussion or to prompt any real change.  However, today my mind is captivated, and for the first time I feel as though I need to pause to process the depths of the things I have seen and heard.  Today, I became aware of my privilege. Continue Reading →


Happy Thanksgiving

Students, faculty and staff at the USC School of Medicine Greenville want to wish you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Here’s a thankful post from last year, by charter class member Maglin Halsey-Nichols, currently in her emergency medicine residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


Toe to Toe with a Linebacker

Indulge me for a second. Close your eyes and imagine you’re a college football player. You’re a running back, it’s game day, and you’re lined up in full gear on the 20-yard line behind your quarterback. The ball is snapped, you’re handed the football, and before you even make it past the line of scrimmage, you find yourself staring down the opposing team’s linebacker. You peer through your facemask at his 240 pound 6’ 2” all-muscle frame, which has been trained specifically for this moment: to turn you into next year’s fertilizer. Your cleats grip the turf, your muscles tighten, and your shoulders lower behind their pads as you brace for the impact…

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The Value of Failure

A while ago, I worked my first shift as an EMT-in-training. I use the word “worked” loosely, as I did very little work and quite a bit of standing and watching. My shift took place after only 3 days of classes, and I felt like I knew very little about emergency medical care. Every time I went to do something on the ambulance, I totally messed it up. That sounds dramatic but let me assure you, it is not an exaggeration. I just wanted to do my best and be helpful, but I felt like more of a hindrance than anything. But I had to work for 12 hours, so I told myself to shake it off, and press on.

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Student Begins Med School. What Happens Next Will Shock You!

Medical school is hard. I heard a lot of people say that when I was applying, and even when I expressed I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was three.

I was never really bothered by people saying this though. People said that BIO 198 would be hard, but I didn’t have to study. So when people said medical school was hard, I just assumed it was hard for some people, easy for others. Continue Reading →


A Commitment on My Family’s Behalf

I was unemployed the day my daughter was born. Instead of taking her home to a decorated nursery, she joined us in the cramped spare room my wife and I had been occupying at my in-law’s house. By the time my daughter turned six months old, I was working at an insurance company, but the modest salary still wasn’t enough to afford our own apartment. I was at my desk waiting for my next customer service call when I received the news from the Office of Admissions.  As the initial shock and excitement settled, my next thought was different from most students’: I thought about the incredible difference this news would make in my daughter’s life. Continue Reading →


Being Just a Medical Student

“I’m just a medical student.” I say it often, especially in front of patients, and pretty much every time I do, some bystander or the patient corrects me, “Not just a medical student.” And I guess the phrasing is a little needlessly self-deprecating, but I say it mostly to announce my lack of expertise, of which I am acutely aware. Continue Reading →


President of the Class of 2020

Brechtel, Leanne (7-25-16) M1The first blog contributor from the Class of 2020 was recently voted as the class president (the first female class president at USCSOMG!). Congratulations, Leanne Brechtel! Don’t miss her first post to Transforming Medical School.


Truth in Medicine

In medicine, the truth hurts. Sometimes. It is complex, multifaceted and murky. Often. It is ugly. Occasionally. It must guide you as you relate to patients, announce good or bad news, and come up with a differential and a diagnosis. Always. Continue Reading →