Kamini Doobay, Class of 2017, wrote the following poem shortly after Schizophrenia was covered in class and she saw a patient with the disease in the hospital. From the author: “This is my attempt to write a narrative poem about a patient based in a time/culture when typical antipsychotics dominated and when there was much less awareness and understanding of the disease. Though the medications have improved and lives are better, we are far from perfect.”



My World


I was 15 years old and had it all,
Straight A’s, the pretty girl, and varsity b-ball.
Handsome as ever and everyone’s friend,
This story would be perfect, from beginning to end.

That’s what I remember, wanting to be on top,
But after 15, it seemed like a steep drop.
Friend after friend become the enemy,
Poisoning my food and trying to kill me.

The once sweet roses lost their scent,
All that gave pleasure gives endless torment.
I don’t want to talk, to work or to dance,
No friendship, love and certainly no romance.

They stare me in the eyes: “You aren’t yourself.”
You are right. I see hitmen, goblins and this one tiny elf.
All of you conspire with greed, envy and hate,
I stand here with caution, until they open the gate.

You see, my world is very different from your own,
It is a magical one and I never feel alone.
With the ongoing voices and enchanting song,
I play my flute and know that this is where I belong.

I stopped taking the pills that cloud my mind,
I want to hear my friends, can’t leave them behind.
Haldol, Prolixin, Navane and Trilafon too,
Mess with my body and all I can do.

They say they got new drugs now, but I say “No thank you friend,”
I am here on the street until my life’s end.
Your rationality eludes me, my mind is open and free,
I can turn fantasies and dreams into a wild reality.

I said goodbye mamma, pap and my brother too,
I miss you and all the others, but have learned to make do.
You didn’t believe me and wanted to kill my fruitful mind,
I don’t want to live like you – boring, lifeless and blind!

Kamini Doobay is in ISMMS’s PORTAL program, as a MD/MSCR Candidate, Class of 2017.

Scheduling the Third Year of Medical School

Jackie Hairston, ISMMS MD Candidate, Class of 2016, recounts how she approached her third year of medical school. https://youtu.be/M-npeawHdEM
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The Therapeutic Powers of Playing the Bagpipes

Roberta Sefcik, ISMMS MD Student, Class of 2016, talks about how her love of writing and playing bagpipe music helps her process her experiences in med school. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://youtu.be/RsJ5ZE2hYaI[/embed]
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The Intersection of Healthcare and Civic Responsibility

I had a lot of mixed feelings about participating in the White Coats for Black Lives Die-In protesting racism and police brutality back in December. My initial excitement gave way to fear and hesitation as the protest began. I had the fortune of sharing in this demonstration hand in hand with Dr. Reena Karani. The connection I felt between us transformed my fear into pride and empowerment.
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Through My Eyes: Roberta on Personalized Education

Roberta Sefcik, MD Student, Class of 2016, discuss the flexibility and support she's received in her education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://youtu.be/Yjfc9A499QA[/embed] Roberta Sefcik is an MD Student, Class of 2016
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Through My Eyes: Roberta on Third-Year Selectives

Roberta Sefcik, MD Student, Class of 2016, describes her geriatric psychiatry selective she's taking in her third year of medical school. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://youtu.be/DuAs_NbDctM[/embed] Roberta Sefcik is an MD Student, Class of 2016
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Through My Eyes: Prepping for Step 1

Alexa Mieses, MD/MPH Candidate, Class of 2016, talks about prepping for Step 1, the medical licensing exam taken by all second-year medical students. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://youtu.be/pH9JJDA8VOA?list=PLV5BTjm-U3poiN5O9OlyTz8ttW1S-osW_[/embed] Alexa Mieses is an MD/MPH Candidate, Class of 2016  
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The History of “Histories”

Sue Li always knew she was going to be a writer. “I’ve been sort of writing my whole life,” she says. “Ever since I was a kid, I was always writing short stories in my notebook.” Growing up as an only child who emigrated from China into the United States at the age of four, she often visited the library and could always be found with her head in a book—transporting herself to new worlds almost daily. Her frequent library visits also instilled in her a desire to have her own book on the shelf one day. 
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A [Paint] Nite in with SinaiArts

It’s a strange sight. Medical students not pounding the keys of their laptops. Not tapping on the screens of their iPhones. Not talking about going to an event or pursuing a research opportunity. In fact, not talking at all. Just dipping brushes into bright acrylic paints and with the focus and childlike joy of their younger selves, creating a landscape from the blank canvas in front of them. 
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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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Chopin with a Twist

Charles Sanky is more than a medical student—he is a musician. He began his musical start at four years old, playing the piano. Since then, he has furthered his interest in music and has learned multiple instruments including the violin, trumpet, and even the euphonium—which he played during the four years he was a member of Columbia University's Wind Ensemble—among others. 
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Reading for pleasure after a drought feels, I imagine, like a marine animal breaching. Nowadays, an essay stands for indulgence; its serif fonts recall a time when my life was consumed by books (or rather, spent in their consumption). I catch glimpses of a world above, where epic meant poetry, meant story, meant the telling of tales til break of dawn, rather than the late-night perusal of electronic medical records in preparation for morning rounds. A haiku was not written finger-to-phone.
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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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