Eitan Aziza is a second-year Internal Medicine resident at the University of Alberta.

 

Medicine has become increasingly cognizant of the role of comprehensive and integrated  care in keeping patients well. While medical therapies are essential and prerequisite to care, they are not comprehensive in their reach. Pills are necessary but not sufficient to restore health. Our medical training rightly emphasizes diagnosis and proper prescriptions; it does not provide us a broad view of all the elements needed to deliver comprehensive care. Over the course of our residency, we are given the opportunity to pair with allied health specialities in a 2 week block titled “Multidisciplinary Care Team”. In an environment where residents are steeped in a seemingly all-encompassing training regimen focused on medical therapies, this course represents a difficult shift in focus for many. Suddenly, displaying our own abilities takes a back seat to the skills of others as the emphasis of teaching is adjusted from medical leadership to medical observership. It is a humbling experience that puts our role in the healthcare team in its true context within the multidisciplinary tapestry. ...continue reading

Vincent Soh is a 4th year medical student at University of British Columbia.

I was born into the war— a war which has carried on for over fifty years.

But “war” for me was nothing more than a word thrown around by newscasters. Growing up in a small South Korean town only 50 kilometers south of the demilitarized zone, I have never felt unsafe or experienced the anguish of true desperate hunger. Instead, over the years, I have witnessed one of the most rapid economic booms in the century, a remarkable global expansion of both culture and technology, and the evolution of a world-renowned health care system. I could never believe that my country was at war…

In stark contrast are the experiences of my cousins north of the 38th parallel. To them, the effects of the war are devastatingly real and tangible.

...continue reading

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.

 

 

The following was written after a conversation about poetry with a terminally ill patient.

*

as if you’ve already known

that it must be i

quiet i looking i

holding the heavy love

for us both

 

these giant holes of light

these hands wrecked with the small

and the insects that sit on bony branches

...continue reading

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Ashleigh Frayne is a Family Medicine (R1) at the University of British Columbia.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and I was on call,

When I felt rather strange as I entered St. Paul’s.

It was tough to tell, and it was hard to say,

What thing might have stirred up my senses that day.

But then Mrs. Mac—from room twenty-four B,

Stood still in her doorway and whispered to me:

“Dr. V— come inside, you must see what I’ve found,

There’s a trapdoor in my room, right here in the ground.”

My eyebrows shot up, to the peak of my hair,

And I thought to myself, good God man, beware.

...continue reading

4 Comments

Martin Kaminski is a resident in internal medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School

Peter Kaminski is an advanced heart failure hospitalist and clinical instructor at UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

 

Over the last decade, it has become widely accepted that chest compressions during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) should be done to the beat of the Bee Gees’ 1977 hit, “Stayin’ Alive”, to help save lives. The United Kingdom's Resuscitation Council advises that chest compressions during CPR should be between 100 to 120 beats per minute based on the consensus of the 2015 International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. Meanwhile, “Stayin’ Alive” clocks in at 104 beats per minute. Case closed some would say. But the real question is, can we do better? The tools of medicine are constantly evolving. Furthermore, we question whether a song approaching its 41st year remains at the forefront of medical science. As both a senior millennial (MK, 35 years old) and a slightly less senior millennial (PK, 30 years old) we feel that “the times they are a changin’.” Therefore, we embarked on a serious, rigorous search for the best song to which to perform CPR.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet  ...continue reading

Christopher Miller is an Investigator at the VA Boston Healthcare System Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry

 

Abstract

Objectives:

(1) To empirically determine common grant-writing challenges; and (2) to compile the most common and frustrating challenges into a Christmas-themed song

Design:

Rapid qualitative analysis

Setting:

A health services research center in the northeastern United States

Participants:

Eight health services research staff with grant submission experience

Results:

Participants revealed common challenges in writing and submitting grants, including: the need for increased caffeine consumption; the rapid pace at which grant guidelines and requirements change; difficulties accommodating limited budgets; attempting to obtain responses from non-responsive co-investigators (Co-Is); developing and formatting seemingly endless appendices; fitting the grant text into page limits; formatting and finalizing letters of support; meeting obscure font size and line spacing requirements; formatting tables and figures; managing problems related to computer malfunctions or network disconnections; dealing with sleep deprivation; and responding to, or anticipating, reviews written by disgruntled grant reviewers.

Conclusions:

The resulting parody song, entitled The Twelve Days of Grants-mas, may provide some measure of comfort, good cheer, and humor to those research staff unfortunate enough to be writing or submitting grants during or near the holiday season.

...continue reading

2 Comments

Maggie Keresteci is a caregiver to her sibling who lives with a life altering disease and is committed to advocating for solutions that will improve the lives of Canadian patients and their caregivers.

 

 

"Coming together is a beginning;

keeping together is progress;

working together is success."

These words of Henry Ford, that bastion of business innovation, have been taking up space in my mind for the last few weeks, as I have contemplated the emerging world of patient and caregiver partnership in Canada. ...continue reading

2 Comments

Ilana Birnbaum is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at the University of Toronto.

 

This work represents some of my reflections during my 6 week Surgery rotation as a third year medical student. While I enjoyed this rotation and learned a great deal about surgery, and clinical care more broadly, I largely felt anonymous. I felt hidden away behind my surgical mask, cap, gown, and gloves.

Even when I was not physically wearing this personal protective gear, I felt as though there was a distance of sorts between myself and the patient. This lack of identity seemed reciprocal. As I felt anonymous to my patients, they too had an element of anonymity in my eyes. My consults in the emergency department were focused, follow-up appointments in clinics were concise, and rounding on inpatients in the mornings was reduced to a few yes or no questions. The majority of my time spent with a given patient was when the patient was under anesthetic.

...continue reading

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.

 

 

arachnoid aneurysm

there used to be tall trees here
that stood alone
where these cluttered papers are now
with my pencil touching a thought you had fifteen years ago
you stroking the first stitch that is meant to keep the rest together
both of us dreaming of long hair that you used
to use to comb the night
though morning bleeds in like scratching wounds
and the webs must be cleaned away
by things worse than bugs
...continue reading

2 Comments

Imaan Javeed is a medical student at the University of Toronto.

Warming up my dinner in the microwave, I habitually open the YouTube app to see what's going on in the world. Before the microwave can finish whirring, though, it suddenly occurs to me: do I even like this stuff?

I’m talking, of course, about politics.

I must, right? For a pill I take religiously every day, multiple times a day, which occupies an embarrassingly large chunk of my attention, you'd think it would be something I at least enjoy. The thing is, though, for me, it doesn't feel like a choice. It's not voluntary, nor is it just a hobby or a game. It's an obligation.

...continue reading