It was the second week of administering our Needs Assessment Questionnaire. My two research assistants and I had arrived at the Radiotherapy department of the Korle Bu teaching hospital at 7:45am to begin seeking the consent of caregivers of cancer patients. We would ask them if they would be gracious enough to spare a moment to answer questions pertaining to their role as caregiver.

Many caregivers were more than willing to do so, whereas a few were mildly irritated that they were being disturbed so early in the morning with no compensation. For every one caregiver who expressed their annoyance at not being left in peace, many more could not thank us enough for paying some attention to them. The impression I got was that the family caregiver was indeed the invisible super(wo)man, sacrificing a tremendous deal financially, emotionally and in many other ways, yet seldomly were their actions acknowledged. Now, there were three bright eyed and bushy tailed aspiring health professionals who wanted to hear anything and everything they had to say about their needs and how they could be supported in order for them to provide optimal care for their patient.

And so in this vein, the day chugged along. Between my sessions with caregivers, I would go over to my two assistants to make sure everything was going smoothly. On one of such occasions, my research assistant was engaged in conversation with a young lady who sat next to her elderly mother. Her mother, who appeared to have a mal-odorous breast cancer, drifted off to sleep as the two ladies chatted away. Once I verified they did not need my help, I moved on.

Barely five minutes later, I heard a blood-curdling wail.

Continued in Part 2.

Efe “Chantal” Ghanney is an MD Candidate, Class of 2017

A Place for Narrative Medicine within Ophthalmology

Narrative medicine combines medical practice with humanism and art. One fourth-year medical student has co-founded an online publication that shares medical professionals and students reflections after treating patients who have suffered from opthalmological issues—through creative narratives. 
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Vision (1-3): Perception, Self-Awareness, and Fantasy

Vision (1-3) alludes to our naive fascination—an exploration of perception, self-awareness, and fantasy.
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Let’s Talk: Superwomen in Medicine

Conferred to medical students in their first year of training, the white coat is a symbol of professionalism that creates a sense of responsibility to become compassionate healers for those who wear it. We invited seven of our future women in medicine to share their personal journeys and thoughts about becoming a superwoman in a white coat. 
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Medical Students Advocate to #ProtectOurPatients

Medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) are trained to be informed advocates, activists, and change-makers for their patients and society. A few ISMMS students joined the #ProtectOurPatients movement in Washington, DC to sound a clarion call for change.
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Medical Students Dare to Enter the Tank

To culminate InFocus 7, the Department of Medical Education designed the School's first #MedEdTank, allowing third-year medical students the opportunity to pitch health care process improvements to leaders of the Mount Sinai Health System—in "Shark Tank" fashion.
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Outside the wind tears

still-green leaves from their branches

pulling them up and off 

like a corn shucker

ripping husk from kernels.

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Reflections on the White Coat

Every year, medical schools nationwide celebrate the incoming class of medical students during the White Coat Ceremony—the official start of their medical careers. Since its inception in the early 90s, the White Coat Ceremony has become a revered tradition that emphasizes the importance of both scientific excellence and compassionate care for patients. 
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Maria, Maria.

On September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, struck Puerto Rico, my home. It destroyed the entire island’s infrastructure and left 3.4 million people without electricity, water, and cell phone service—making internal and external communication, nearly impossible. These are facts. I’d like to get personal. I’d like to share how I was affected by this hurricane. 
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Still Waiting for Someone to Pinch Me

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for beginning medical students that creates a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of medicine. Slavena Salve Nissan, MD Candidate 2020, reflects on the ceremony's impact on her first step towards becoming a doctor. 
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So How Do We Actually Die?

Every year, students at the Icahn School of Medicine write Op-Ed articles about topics in health care and advocacy to culminate InFocus 4. Caitlyn Braschi's article, "So How Do We Actually Die?" was one of the 10 exemplary articles selected to appear in the 2016 issue of Physicians as Advocates—InFocus 4. We share her story. 
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Looking In

Every year, students at the Icahn School of Medicine write Op-Ed articles about topics in health care and advocacy to culminate InFocus 4. Charlotte Austin's article, “Looking In” was one of the 10 exemplary articles selected to appear in the  Physicians as Advocates—InFocus 4, and focuses on marginalized identities. We share her story. 
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All Roads Lead to Palliative Care—New York to Africa

During my sophomore year of college, I was thinking seriously about applying to medical school, but I was not sure if I would be able to handle working with dying patients. I decided to volunteer at a local hospice over the summer to confront that question as well as my personal fear of death. 
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