On Wearing a White Coat

It is a privilege to wear a white coat. It is a universal sign of care and the advocacy of total wellness. The receipt of my white coat was, undoubtedly, an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. However, I had no idea that those feelings could be rivaled, let alone beat. This happened for the first time in the hospital when the emotions I experienced after wearing my white coat left an unparalleled mark on my heart. The trust that other medical professionals had in my intent was evident as my path and aim was never questioned. The assurance patients and their family members had in me was awe-inspiring and propelled me to use poetry as the paintbrush to illustrate a portrait of my experience.
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On Presence

To be present – what does it mean? How do we arrive to it? How do we yield it as a necessary tool in our future practice?

We find comfort in the things we can control, bury ourselves in the the areas that we feel competent in, garnering false strength and validations that serve to fuel us. We focus more on getting things checked off our list and being a well-oiled machine than being present – all mind, body, and soul dedicated in a moment which is fleeting and unrecoverable.
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Feeling Full

I had family in town recently and beyond the usual great time we always have together, we ate… a LOT. We ate so much that I felt uncomfortably stuffed on several occasions- the kind of stuffed where you are glad you are wearing some stretchy pants or a loose fitting dress. I would be offered a dessert and say I am beyond full and decline, only to grab a plate five minutes later.
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“I decided not to attend medical school.”

As many of my peers intimately know, applying to medical school is–to put it incredibly lightly–very difficult. More accurately, the application cycle is an extremely strenuous, frustrating, and expensive process which offers essentially no immediate rewards and only a nightmarishly slight chance of success. Even excluding the equally difficult MCAT and requisite four years of resume building, lab work, and clinical volunteering, acceptance into medical school is not something to take for granted. Two years ago, knowing all this, freshly graduated from college and with the long sought-after letter of miraculous acceptance in hand, I decided to not attend medical school.
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Up on the Roof

A few months ago, my wife and I decided to try out a new dinner location we had heard about in downtown Greenville. This place had received glowing reviews from many of our friends for its delicious food, relaxing ambiance, and spectacular views of the city. Believe me when I say, we weren’t disappointed.

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“No day is ever mundane, no day is ever wasted.”

About three months ago, I got a call that changed my world. My mom was taken to the hospital with a heart rate pushing 200… crazy high! She spent the day seeing different specialists, and it was determined she had atrial fibrillation. After seeing a cardiac electrophysiologist, it was determined she should have a cardiac ablation procedure. As far as surgery goes, cardiac ablation is a relatively simple procedure. My mom had no other major health conditions, and all signs pointed to a quick hospital stay with a very fast recovery. However, my mom is not always the best when it comes to doctors (sorry to throw you under the bus), and she was more than a little nervous. I told her that if she could get the surgery scheduled for my spring break, I would fly back home to go to the hospital with her.

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Positive Exposure Zone

Fashion photographer Rick Guidotti used to look through the lens of his camera every day, capturing the beauty of high fashion models. His standards were prescribed for him; conventional beauty standards for the types of bodies and faces allowed to grace the covers of Elle magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.

Until one day Rick decided to go off-label.

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Reflections on the Eclipse

The lights lining the walkway to the hospital flickered on. The crescent of the sun was shrinking by the second. A countdown emerged, as if we were waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve. There was a sense of excitement electrifying the crowd. Students, doctors, nurses, professors, families, and construction workers filled the lawn outside – specs of white coats, red EMT polos, and blue scrubs stark against the green grass.

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Dear Class of 2021

Congratulations on matriculating into your first year of medical school. You have worked hard to reach this accomplishment, which is indeed a privilege, and you are one of the chosen 3%. I have written you a letter to help guide you through your first year as a student doctor and will hopefully provide insight for the year to come.

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Those “Soft Lectures” Matter

Ms. Gomez was sick. She didn’t know or understand what the problem was, but she was told to get to the doctor’s office by the end of the month. Unfortunately, that news arrived at the same time as a letter summoning her to re-certify for welfare benefits at the Department of Social Services. That’s where I met her.
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