Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, April 1, 2022
In This Issue:
Director's Corner

Taking a Break: Mini-Sabbaticals in Stressful Times Lead to Flourishing

By Adina Kalet, MD, MPH

In this week’s Director’s Corner, Dr. Kalet challenges us to find as many creative ways as possible to take a Sabbath break. “Mini-sabbaticals” may be the answer to our vitality in the long run… 
Sabbatical: Late 16th century via late Latin from Greek sabbatikos “of the sabbath.”
The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath
I fear an impending brain drain. People are reaching their limits.
Over the past week, I have had some disturbingly pessimistic conversations with medical education leaders. These are high energy, optimistic, creative problem solvers who are committed to both their work and family lives. These are educators who love the privilege of working very hard while maintaining accountability to the public, the learners and each other. Now, they are hitting the wall. They are singing very different tunes.

The Miracle is You...All of You

By Allison DeVan, PhD, MA

April is World Autism Month. In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2022, Dr. DeVan shares a bit of the struggles and joys that she and her daughter, Caroline, share as they journey through the world …
I’d been waiting to hear my beloved daughter say my name for years. “Mama,” she said, smiling up at me. “Mama,” she said for the first time. She was four years old.
At nineteen months old, my first child, my daughter Caroline, was diagnosed with severe autism and other developmental delays. She barely spoke. Her food intake was poor. She avoided eye contact, rocked, hummed, and flapped her hands. But she also smiled, enjoyed social contact, and was a huge fan of classical musicals like Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain and, of course, all Disney films. My husband and I began suspecting something was unusual about Caroline when she was about three months old but were still shocked when the diagnosis was formally made.

Is Humor Appropriate in Clinical Medicine?

By Charles J. Harkins, MD

Otolaryngologist Charles Harkins, MD (known to everyone as “Charlie”), is famous for his sense of humor and ability to see the ironic twist in any situation. We asked him to reflect on how he sees the use of “humor” in clinical care …

As I mused over this topic, lots of ideas came to mind: Should we use humor in medicine? Is there anything very funny about being sick? If we use it, when should we use it? Should we all use it or just a few “funny” people? How do we know if we’re one of the “funny” people? 

How Our Group of New York Area Medical Students Responded in the Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Elyse Berlinberg

Ms. Berlinberg, a medical student at New York University, was in the middle of a clerkship when she, and all of her classmates, were sent home in March 2020. She tells how their group came together to mount a response that supported the healthcare system and its frontline workers …

On Friday March 13, 2020, I was working as a clerkship student in the pediatric psychiatric emergency department. An email notification chirped from my phone – all clerkship students must leave the hospital until further instruction due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Taking Clinical Human Anatomy Alongside the M1 Students Helped me Better Understand the Future of Medical Education

By Ethan Duwell, PhD

Dr. Duwell, one of the inaugural Kern Institute postdoctoral fellows, went “back to school,” taking M1 Human Anatomy. In this essay, he contemplates his experience and how it might inform what the educational process requires to be transformed …

It’s 9:00 AM, 45 minutes remain before the first anatomy exam begins, and I’m going to fail. I find myself paging manically through my notes in a caffeinated frenzy, scanning labeled diagrams of the brachial plexus, re-reading practice questions, and reciting mnemonics as though these incantations may somehow ward off what I dread.

Daily Realities

By David Nelson, PhD, MS

Dr. Nelson works with people in our community who are barely able to keep body and soul together. As we turn the calendar, he shares a few of their stories …

The calendar indicates spring, but not here and not yet. Gray clouds hang low in the sky, seemingly like they can be touched. Bare branches bend in the wind, and a brown leaf that hung on from last fall lets go and flies, pushed down the street by the gusty wind. Snowflakes fly in various sizes: small ones and large ones throughout the day. Everyone is bundled in multiple layers, and yet all are chilled. Still, there are people out. There are always people out, and here is what is witnessed.
By Audrey Heller

When it's April Fools Day, you
better beware. There's so many
pranksters, lurking out there.
They're waiting to bait you, with
stories so bold. To see your
expression, on what you were
told. If they get a reaction, they'll
consider you real cool. They'll
blurt out and say...April Fool!
Through the course of the day,
you can be sure others, will be
ready to pounce on you. Be a
good sport and have a retort,
enjoy the moment too!
Words from our readers...
Share a story about a great April Fool's Day prank you did or had done to you.

Many years ago, my co-workers and I played a prank on our agency's accountant. This was back in the days when we still took phone messages on those pink while you were out slips. Anyhow, we left a slip on his desk Mr. Lyon called, wanting a return call (return call number was the Milwaukee County Zoo). Looking puzzled, the accountant wandered out to our front office asking if Mr. Lyon left any other info. Keeping straight faces, we said we had no idea -- just that he wanted a callback. Lo and behold, he returned Mr. Lyon's call . . . and of course the Zoo laughingly explained that no, there was no Mr. Lyon. We couldn't believe he fell for that old prank and laughed about it for years!

For this week's reflection prompt, please answer the following question:

If you could relive an experience in your life, what would it be?

Call for Submissions for 2022 KNN Conference

Faculty, staff and learners at KNN founding member schools are invited to submit a proposal for various presentation types and a poster session at the 2022 KNN Conference.

The theme is "Connect, Convene, Catalyze Toward Flourishing" and submissions should emphasize caring, character, practical wisdom and/or human flourishing in medicine.

Submissions are due before Midnight PT on April 1, 2022.

Still thinking about applying? Submit Today!
The Kern KINETICTeaching Academy is Recruiting for the
2022-2023/4 Cohorts

The Kern Institute’s KINETIC3 Teaching Academy is a professional enrichment program to support thriving, confident educators across the health professions by integrating the 3C’s of character, caring, and competence with a deep understanding of effective pedagogy. In this, we aim to foster a regional and national network of professionals who, collectively, will transform medical education.

All faculty, APPs, staff, senior residents and fellows are encouraged to apply! 
The Excellence in Teaching Track (EiT) 2022-2023 
  • Year-Long Track
  • Equip Participants with teaching skills for the classroom and/or bedside
  • Our core 3Cs curriculum (Character, Caring, Competence)
  • Interactive curriculum through monthly workshops
  • Teaching observations, in which experienced coaches will identify in real-time opportunities to strengthen teaching skills and provide constructive feedback
  • Creation of a professional Teaching Portfolio

The Medical Education Research (MER) Track 2022-2024
  • Two-year long track
  • Goal to develop skills in educational scholarship and pedagogy
  • Participants will produce a medical education capstone project
  • Guided by structures educational research and human-centered design curriculum with the support of a mentor
  • Delivered in day-long boot camps
  • Complimented with rotating monthly writing circles to provide time focused on capstone work

Applications are still OPEN through April 3

Register Now
2022 Well-Being Summit: Inhale, Exhale, and Engage: Harnessing Happiness, Joy, & Resilience in Healthcare
Proudly Sponsored by the Kern Institute

Please join us for the 2022 Well-Being Summit!
David Weill, MD, author of the book Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant will be providing the keynote address on the topic of burnout.
This event is open to all and anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to attend.

April 5, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
9:00 am - 12:00 pm CT  

Please email Venus Coates with any questions.
Register Now
The Art of Observation
An MCW Exhibition

Please join us for The Art of Observation: An MCW Art Exhibition. This gallery will feature the work of MCW students and faculty published in Auscult

Attendees will be invited to participate in Visual Thinking Strategies facilitated by The Art of Observation, a component of MCW's humanities-based curriculum. Visual thinking Strategies is a nationally recognized technique used to refine visual diagnostic skills through the discussion of fine art.

April 6, 2022
Hub A1015/1035
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CT 
Refreshments will be served, so please register in advance.
Please contact with any questions.
Register Now
Virtual Healthcare Policy Forum

A virtual healthcare policy forum, sponsored by the Health Systems Management and Policy Pathway, will take place on Thursday, April 7, from 1:15 – 3:00 p.m. We will welcome Senator Alberta Darling, Wisconsin State Senator from District 8; Chris Abele, former Milwaukee County Supervisor and Trustee of the Argosy Foundation; and Maureen McNally Froedtert Health vice president of governance and government relations.

The forum will focus on post-pandemic healthcare policy reform including Medicaid expansion, continuation of coverage for virtual care, vaccination mandates for employers and the public, and expanded access and coverage for mental health services.

All MCW students, faculty and staff are welcome. If you are interested in attending, please complete the registration survey no later than April 4th.

April 7, 2022
1:15 pm - 3:00 pm CT 

Register Now
Join us for a Virtual Home Organization Workshop for Medical Students

Ashley M. Hines, professional organizer, founder, and owner of Thee Tailored Life, partners to help people keep what serves them and organize spaces where they can thrive. In this session, she will share with you her organizing journey, the benefits of living organized, and practical ways to start and
stick with it!

April 7, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
12:00 - 1:00 pm CT  
Register Now
April Kern Connection Cafe: Finding Joy, Resilience and Character: My Medical Education Journey
With panelists Hallie Tolo, Morgan Ashley Craft, Sarah Torres and Peter Nguyen
Moderated by Malika Siker, MD

From serendipitous encounters to unexpected challenges, the path to becoming a physician is unique for each of our learners. While our students face academic rigors and clinical demands, they also find deep purpose and wonder in the pursuit of healing humankind. Join us as we hear how four of our M4 learners forged their resilience, built their character, and found joy during their journey in medical education, followed by a Q&A where they share their secrets to success.

April 14, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
Register Now
2022 Understanding Medical Professional Identity and Character Development Symposium

Join us for the second annual Understanding Medical Professional Identity and Character Development symposium. This year's half-day event will be held virtually on April 22, 2022. We will welcome keynote speaker Dr. Tasha Wyatt of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and also host workshops and discussion groups on major topics on PIF and character development. 
April 22, 2022
9:00 am - 2:00 pm CT  

Please email Michael Braun or Penelope Lusk with any questions.
Register Now
2022 Summit on Advancing Equity in the Learning Environment

Please join us to explore, discuss and align our efforts in equity-focused initiatives in the learning environment! The summit will highlight how MCW incorporates equity into the learning environment while examining four areas: (1) Curriculum (2) Equitable Assessment and Mitigating Bias (3) Learning Environment Culture and (4) Equity in Research Education.
April 28, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
9:00 am - 1:00 pm CT  
Please email Devarati Syam or Malika Siker with any questions.
Register Now
Curriculum Planning Virtual Retreat

The Curriculum Innovation team invites you to register for a virtual half-day retreat on Monday, May 2, from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. We invite all faculty, staff and students to attend and share feedback on some of the curricular models. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We hope you'll join us!

May 2, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
8:00 am - 12:00 pm CT  

Register Now
Faculty Development Day: Thriving at All Stages of Your Career

The Office of Faculty Affairs is thrilled to host an all virtual Faculty Development Day: Thriving At All Stages of Your Career. This annual one-day event provides resources to enhance overall faculty professional development in a variety of areas, with a special keynote address at noon.

Many Kern Institute faculty are contributing to sessions at this event, with Dr. Adina Kalet facilitating a Mentoring Intensive Workshop. Registration for this Workshop is limited and only open through the end of March.

May 12, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
8:00 am - 5:00 pm CT  

Register Now
The Doctor as a Humanist DASH 6th Symposium: Humanism in Surgery

Fabrice Jotterand, PhD and Clara Bosco will be leading a plenary session entitled The Wise Surgeon in the Age of Artificial Intelligence at The Doctor as a Humanist DASH 6th Symposium: Humanism in Surgery, a hybrid event.

May 20, 2022
Hybrid Event  

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