Sarina Lalla is a medical student in class of 2020 at McMaster University.
When I was on an emergency medicine rotation, I asked for a room to tell a patient news about an X-ray. I was told that this was not a common practice given the scarcity of private rooms. It was advised that I inform them in the waiting room where other strangers sat nearby. I was also told to present cases to staff in small spaces in earshot of patients. This was unsettling to me, and pushed me to reflect on confidentiality and privacy breaches in the ED.
Canadian EDs are well-known to be overcrowded. With limited resources and a high patient volume, the space of a department is used to house a maximum of patients. Sometimes thin curtains are separating patients, or nothing is separating them at all. Often, they are placed in hallways and close to workstations where healthcare staff outside of their circle of care are working. ...continue reading
Akina Fay is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at McGill University.
Days after my fourteenth birthday, I was diagnosed with a rare brain malformation and underwent emergency brain surgery to prevent my spinal cord from dissecting.
Days after my seventeenth birthday, my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer.
At the age of twenty, I started medical school and began to piece together the pathophysiological processes that lead to our illnesses.
At the age of twenty-two, my mother died in my arms after a grueling year of hospitalizations, pain and suffering.
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 because of this floating into my inbox like ash.
You asked me what objects looked like breasts. It was morning and the sun was yawning and you said you needed to write a thing for a thing. What thing, I asked? For a class, you told me. I flopped pancakes onto your plate, watched them deflate like a frown. Your pajamas were hanging loose, threads licked skin. Hair was a brown bush for birds or fingers. Eyes tired, hungry. Coffee beans were roasting. Burning. ...continue reading
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Grace Zhao is a third year MD/MSc student in the Systems Leadership and Innovation program at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
Ontario is undergoing its biggest health system reform in 50 years. Under Premier Doug Ford, 20 health agencies will be merged into a superagency – Ontario Health. The rationale behind this is to eliminate duplicative back office infrastructure and administration in order to streamline work to achieve integrated and coordinated care. The functional unit would be the Ontario Health Teams, which are made up of local health care providers who work together to provide coordinated care through technology.
With much attention being placed on health systems innovation and transformation, I asked two health system leaders on their thoughts about leading system innovation and transformation and the current climate of Ontario’s health care system. ...continue reading
Due to the sensitivity of the post, the author wished to publish the following piece anonymously.
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, we are pleased to reward you an offer of admission to the Doctor of Medicine Program!
This year our Committee received over 5,000 applications, and extended less than 250 offers of admission. However, medicine is not a meritocracy. Upon meeting peers from diverse backgrounds, you will quickly realize that applicants differed in their advantages throughout the admissions process. “Not every applicant had the same access to opportunities to demonstrate or enhance his or her commendable qualities”. ...continue reading
Gayathri Sivakumar is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Western University.
A cold awakening when I got a call about you
the feeling of the nightmare we all dread
You know, the one where you fall off the edge of a cliff
except I kept falling and failed to wake up
I was seeing my sickest patients that morning
I had a plan to help them
I started to figure out when and how to help my patients
I was assembling a sense of purpose in my service ...continue reading
Sarah Chauvin is a PGY2 Family Medicine resident at McMaster University.
Palliative care empowers and comforts individuals with life-limiting illnesses. It may be sought at any point and serves as an adjunct to other treatments provided it falls within someone’s goals of care. It is not just trendy terminology or a “feel-good” concept; it is the cornerstone of a good death.
So why, then, after weeks of advocacy, was it denied from my grandmother. Denial? Arrogance? The belief that despite multi-system organ failure at the age of 88 years old we might still be able to “fix” her? So that rather than allowing her to control her environment and provide us with the opportunity to say goodbye, she passed away alone, minutes after being offered a colonoscopy. In fact, minutes after refusing further intervention stating, “I want to go home”. Perhaps an option she never knew existed to her until that moment. ...continue reading
Mei Wen is a currently a PGY1 in Family Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital.
I walk in,
tired, threw my backpack down and headed to my work desk,
robotically and unconsciously, as if my body is used to this routine,
only to catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of my hallway mirror. ...continue reading
Richeek Pradhan is a Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacoepidemiology at McGill University.
If you want to find out what Lady Gaga’s met gala costume looked like, or where Queen Elizabeth dined last night, you Google. In a world that spins out terabytes of data every day, awareness of the minutest triviality is the norm. It is intriguing, thus, when data regarding some of the most important aspects of our lives remains hidden from public access. ...continue reading