Austin Lam is a medical student at the University of Toronto
I remember the final oral examination for my Phenomenology course at McGill University. I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree, yet I remained uncertain as to whether I had been accepted to medical school or not. My professor, who knew of my aspirations, presented me with a poignant question after the exam: “What does it mean to care in healthcare?” We had studied Heidegger’s Being and Time (BT) during the course, in which Heidegger developed a nuanced, intricate, and memorable illustration of Care.
This powerful question has stayed with me through the fledgling stages of my medical training. ...continue reading
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
Avina De Simone is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McGill University
I wish I would have known what it feels like to walk in your shoes.
I wish I would have known what it feels like live in your country.
I wish I would have known what it feels like to want to end my life.
I wish I would have known how to help you.
I had many doubts throughout my clerkship journey. I always wondered if I was truly helping others, or if my efforts would ever improve my patients’ quality of life. ...continue reading