How do medical students’ professional identities take shape as they enter the world of medicine? And how do their formal and informal learning experience lead them toward — or away — from becoming humanistic physicians? We have recruited six incredible first-year medical students to answer one question a month for an ongoing series.
Jana Christian is a first year medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. She holds her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where she majored in History of Science. Prior to enrolling in medical school, Jana worked as a research assistant for a project dedicated to addressing experiences of discrimination encountered by a population of African American men living with HIV in the Boston area. She is passionate about racial and ethnic disparities in health, the interaction of art and medicine, and improving the quality of life of those living with chronic illnesses. Jana is grateful for the opportunity to share the milestones of her first year on the Humanizing Medicine blog and is excited for what is to come!
J.Chika Morah, a.k.a. “Jay”, is a first year medical student at the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Ohio. She received her B.S. in Biology from Wright State University in April of 2013. Having been a Girl Scout for 11 years and earning her Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards, serving the community has always been dear to her heart and she plans on serving those with little access to healthcare. As a three-time Academic All-Horizon League selection for collegiate Track and Field, J.Chika has a always had an interest in Sports Medicine, but is also considering Women’s Health and Internal Medicine. She is excited about joining this wonderful community of bloggers and hopes to become the most competent and personable physician that she can be.
Eduardo Salazar is a first year medical student at The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. He received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Arizona State University. He interrupted his undergraduate education to serve a two-year volunteer religious mission in Brazil. Upon returning to ASU, he assisted with sleep apnea research at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Phoenix. Eduardo is a native of Costa Rica and has lived in Arizona since he was five years old. Having played high-level competitive volleyball in his youth, Eduardo wishes to pursue sports medicine and make a difference in his community by developing relationships with young athletes and their families. Whenever medical school allows, he spends time with his wife, Kylee, and one year-old son, Grayson.
Natalie Sous is a first year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Psychology, she received a grant from the Spanish Embassy to work as an English teacher in Spain. She has also worked as a research assistant in public health to evaluate home-visiting programs for low-income women with children. She is looking forward to serving the community of Newark throughout her medical education by helping to spread health literacy, connecting the uninsured with healthcare services, and working with patients at the student-run free clinic. She is committed to keeping humanism at the forefront of her medical training, and is honored to be a part of the Humanizing Medicine Blog.
Natalie Strokes is a first year medical student at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Smith College and her M.S. in Medical Physiology from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to medical school, she spent time in Boston working in neurodevelopmental research at Boston Children’s Hospital and as a Cardiac Telemetry Technician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Natalie has a passion for international medicine, with experiences including living in southern India for a semester in college and going on two medical trips to Rwanda with Team Heart from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She enjoys spending time with her dog Broca, who is a volunteer therapy dog and currently training in agility.
Evan Torline is a first year medical student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. He received his B.S. in Biology with a minor in Medical Humanities at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is committed to social justice through healthcare, a conviction that developed through relationships growing up in a small town, his faith, as well as missions to Haiti he engaged in as an undergraduate. Evan believes in the power of the written word, and enjoys reading a wide range of topics that draw him to a greater understanding of the human condition. He looks forward to serving his country as a physician in the U.S. Army upon completion of medical school.
Questions our medical student bloggers have answered:
- Four years from now, what do you hope to remember about your White Coat Ceremony?
- When working with your cadaver, did you or your team do anything specific to humanize, or de-humanize, the body?
- Have you had any community service experiences that have influenced the way you think about a career in medicine?
- How can you tell if a medical school has a humanistic approach?
- How can medical training encourage more humanistic interactions with patients?