A Blessing in Disguise

I did not know then
What sacrifice would look like

To pursue my dreams
While evolving from old wounds

Loss and forgone love
Drawn out by this pandemic

Stoics had known best
Master loneliness they said

The grace of being
Forced to confront inner worlds

For those in training
Must learn to heal themselves too.

Christina LaGamma

Earth-Shattering Career Obstacles

We are sorry, you did not match to any position.

Tunnel vision, seasick, mute, colorless world.

Pick up pieces, stand tall, and persevere.

Covid-19 siphon energy, dissolve opportunity.

Covid-19 deaths, screams, financial burden, social isolation.

Covid-19 innovation, virtual togetherness, newfound unity.

Develop dedication, enhance grit, broaden resourcefulness.

I am strong. We are COVID strong.

Joseph Toth
Medical Student

The Song and The Breath

Breath bestows a voice to song,
But song was in the air,
Then captured by the wings
That beat as long as they could bear.
As beauty is carried in body,
So song is carried in breath;
In time, when breath has ceased then, know
The song has already left.

Alexander Thomas
Medical Student

Class of 2021

I am ready.
I have passed my exams and performed well in the core clerkships.
I am motivated, young, healthy.
Put me to work. I can help.
But I am stuck at home. Useless.
Quarantined with my knowledge and experience.
Mere months from finishing my training.
We are an untapped resource and we are ready.

Rachel Fields
Medical Student

First Step in a Pandemic

Familiar blue and white screen. Blocks and explanations that stopped connecting one pandemic ago. Inside is turmoil but outside is pure chaos. Do questions or ask questions of the world? Why weren’t we prepared, why are my people dying or, what causes clots to form? Will I get these answers now or after the MD?

Azana Newman
Medical Student

July Attending 2020

Now with mask and face shield but no patient interactions for five months,
are these newly minted third year medical students ready for clerkships? Am I ready?
Imprinting: watch me closely but not too closely. Grow and be yourselves.
I pray, let the enthusiasm for the profession persist in these young minds and hearts.

Rebecca R. Pauly, MD
Faculty Member

COVID-Exacerbated Purposelessness

March 13: Another waitlist.

March 15: Lockdown tomorrow. Grocery store trip.

March 16: Unemployed.

March 22: Offering to reschedule your wedding.

May 6: Wedding… is… postponed. No acceptances… No job…

June 2: Off the waitlist!

June 5: Zoom courthouse wedding!

June 6: Cross-country move!

July 15: Welcome to MS1!


Student doctors and more

“Only” student doctors, always overseen.
Gained confidence from clerkships, no longer green.
But – “only” student doctors – and pulled from hospitals.
Look back on your journey! We’re not so brittle.
PPE donated, contacts traced, patients screened.
Though not in the hospital, we have done this and more,
After all, we are student doctors
And more.

David Gao
Medical Student

Pandemic Hero

Her voice crackled on the phone.

“Sounds like hero stuff to me.”

It was embarrassing to explain that all I really do is assemble PPE and study in my room; sidelined while real doctors risk themselves on COVID wards. Medical students rarely feel useful, but now we’re reminded of it every day on the news.

Jacob Hartman-Kenzler
Medical Student

Orientation “Zoom”-ing By

In silence, scrolling through “gallery view” to make friends. In person meetings create a 10-person community but it’s more than spotty online connections can do. “This ain’t college” and it certainly doesn’t feel like it. The upcoming unknown feels overwhelming but I am reassured that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Sarah Gold
Medical Student

Withdrawal of Accreditation

Close the program. Voluntary? Hardly. Inevitable. Yes.

Told residents. Told faculty. We mourned.

Saved the best for last said residents. End of an era said faculty. We planned a celebration.

COVID-19. Black Lives Matter. We shifted attention to more important issues.

Turned off the lights and closed the door. Silent goodbye. No we. Only me.

Lisa Gilmer
Faculty Member

Pressing Pause

Commitment to heal and serve others, in their most vulnerable moments of life. We earnestly swore.
Years of studies, hoping knowledge would save. Mastering the art of physical exam. Healing through touch.
Yet faced with pandemic, we are discouraged to touch.
Sent home. Knowledge paused.
Unable to heal.
The irony: Student doctors shielded from disease.

Hanna Knauss
Medical Student

Misfortune Rising

Balancing on tightrope
Rural America and inner-city staring me down
Death haunting those I love
Lack of hospitals- grim reaper looming
Family casualties in the war of inequality and racism
New threat of COVID-19- misinformation rising
The first medical degree- potential savior
A long path- bringing awareness hopefully home.

Evelyn Darden
Medical Student

Vermont Spring

A Vermont lake cabin reserved for childhood weekends suddenly became our home for three months. My fiancée and I arrived in early March, early enough to watch the spring ice melt. We cancelled our forthcoming wedding, baked sourdough bread, and warily, perhaps idyllically, welcomed a new, inexplicable world.

Andrew Catomeris
Medical Student

Moving Pieces

His days are long at sixty,
As they have always been.
His eyes closed briefly between cases
When the adrenaline fades.
His cough is better now.

My time is still consumed by
Books and flashcards and
Mock patient encounters,
But I’m coming, Dad.
I’ll be there soon.

Winston Whiting Oliver
Medical Student


Emotions have been everywhere. Students care and want to see patients. Residents want to experience the pandemic upfront. We must let them. We must support them. We must protect them. We must keep ourselves whole. We must let patients see our hearts and imagine our faces. We must breathe. We must teach. We must heal.

Regina Macatangay, MD
Faculty Member

The Quake and the Virus

A year earlier, no one would have believed you; that Puerto Rico would live through two major earthquakes and a pandemic in the span of 5 months. Yet, here we are. The psychological and financial impact of the earthquakes was worsened by the pandemic. Nevertheless, we as medical students continue to prepare for tomorrow.

Ramon Misla David
Medical Student


They say, “It’s not a great time to enter medicine”.
They say, “This country is fractured beyond repair”.

“So America is like a skeleton”?

“Then who’s better to repair,
than those in healthcare”?

We might be scared of what’s to come.
But we will work til’ we’ve gone numb.

Lauren Pomerantz
Medical Student

MS2 to MS3 Transition……Loading

Scrolling through an endlessly disconnected social media, the light gets drained from me.

Scrolling through my emails, meaningful extracurricular opportunities re-enlightening me.

Scrolling through clinical modules to read, simulating an experience so close yet so distant for me.

Scrolling through a prolonged phase of imposter syndrome, except the scrolling function feels disabled to me.

Irfan Ali Khan
Medical Student

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