Monthly Archives: January 2018

Mandi Irwin is a family physician at the Nova Scotia Health Authority's Newcomer Health Clinic, in Halifax, NS

Elizabeth Munn is a medical student at Dalhousie University

 

Hamid Abdihalim is a medical student at Dalhousie University

Matthew Ta is a medical student at Dalhousie University

 

 

Human displacement as a consequence of war, natural disaster, civil conflict or political instability is not a new problem. The ongoing war in Syria has brought this issue into mainstream view recently. This and other protracted and escalating conflicts have resulted in the displacement of over 22.5 million refugees globally, as estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2016 alone, almost 190,000 refugees were resettled in new countries around the world. This includes resettlement in Canada, which has welcomed over 25,000 refugees from Syria [1].

We often fail to appreciate that once refugees arrive in their countries of resettlement, they face substantial challenges ...continue reading

Doctor Mom is a physician who lives in Ontario

 

This week CMAJ published a research study looking at how peer victimization in early childhood is related to mental health problems and suicidality in adolescence. Peer victimization is a broad term that encompasses bullying. The study was published with a linked podcast that I wish I had been able to listen to a few months ago when I was trying to work out how to deal with a situation in which my younger son was being victimized. ...continue reading

Tyler Murray is an Internal Medicine Resident (R1) at the University of British Columbia who graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 2017

 

Fortunately, I found myself starting medical school unacquainted with death. I had only been to a single funeral, all four of my grandparents were still alive, and my entire extended family was relatively free from chronic disease.

Our first exposure to death in medical school was in the anatomy lab. At the end of the first week, we were brought down to the morgue and introduced to our cadavers. A small card with a simple line about who they were hung at the foot of the table: "54y male. Cause of death: lymphoma.” Over the next two months, we became intimately familiar with these bodies. Each day, we crossed a new boundary in a process of uncomfortable, progressive desensitization. I wonder now if this was intentional. ...continue reading

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Maria Powell is an Internal Medicine Resident (R1) at the University of Calgary who graduated from medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2017

 

Admittedly, my social histories used to consist of the same three questions: Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? Do you use recreational drugs? I would occasionally ask if the patient worked outside the home, or what they did for income, but the question rarely came up when reviewing consults with resident and staff physicians so I did not routinely ask about it. One thing I am sure of: I never asked whether or not the patient had a home.

During my first two years of medical school, I had lectures on the social determinants of health, and I thought I understood their importance. Yet, it was not until I did a “Health of the Homeless” elective in downtown Toronto that I truly appreciated the impact of the social determinants of health. ...continue reading

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Sterling Sparshu is an Early-Career Physician who graduated from medical school and completed their residency at the University of Calgary in 2017

 

As I graduate from my residency program, I am struck by how much this journey has mirrored aging and development. I grew typically enough through infancy and childhood, but medical training stalled me in adolescence.

While others gradually accumulated responsibility, status, and wealth in a stepwise fashion, I have received this at a slow, then exponentially increasing rate. It seems at one moment I was a medical student; then, suddenly, I had an MD and was expected to take on so much more than only a day before. Now I will be a medical staff — but I am no longer just me. I am no longer just a student, resident, or physician. I am now a corporation. I have an accountant, a lawyer, a financial advisor... I am suddenly earning as much in a day as I used to make in a week. I have been granted tremendous power and must take on immense responsibility. ...continue reading

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Eleni Levreault is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Ottawa

 

 

 

They said medicine, when you begin,
Is like staring Mount Everest in the face.
You wonder how the mountain you climbed
Suddenly shrinks to a hill beside what is yet to come
Yet you start the climb;
This is what you’ve trained for, after all
And as summer turns to fall, the journey begins:
Genetics, anatomy, they consume all your time
As the snow settles in, the bell-ringers cease to chime ...continue reading

Hely Shah is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Alberta

 

As a medical student in pre-clerkship, I was known to my classmates as the one who watched recordings of all the lectures rather than attending in person just to have the opportunity to scrub in more often in the OR. I was driven to shadow every surgical specialty at least once. Suffice to say, I love surgery: the precision; the ability to lead a talented and hard-working team as an attending surgeon; the ability to cure a disease instantly (or, more commonly, after hours of arduous work); the gratitude of patients; the hands-on approach… the list goes on. To my surprise, when I expressed a desire to pursue a surgical residency, my colleagues were skeptical about my commitment. Their simple yet commonly expressed sentiment regarding surgery: only pick a surgical residency if there is nothing else I love more in life. ...continue reading