Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, August 14, 2020
In this Issue:

Director's Corner
  • Adina Kalet, MD, MPH: Why Build a Kern Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Medical Education Transformation for "Basic" Scientists?

Letter to the Editor
  • Javier Mora, MD Candidate 2021: A Call for Waiving the MCAT at our Medical School in the 2021 Application Cycle

Educational Perspectives
  • Janet Rader, MD, Kristina Kaljo, PhD, Emma Grellinger, Nadia Tabit, Liliana Kasta, and Akanksha Dasari: SPARCC Students Reflect on their Experiences
  • M. Paula Phillips: How Do We Decide? Seeking Wisdom as we Reopen Schools

Your Turn
  • See how readers answered last week's prompt: If you could snap your fingers and a meal would appear from anywhere in the world, what would it be and where would it be from?
  • Respond to this week's prompt: What binge-worthy TV series are you watching right now?
  • Respond to the AAMC: Call for Creative Expressions in Times of Extremity

Announcements & Resources
  • Register for the Kern Institute's Upcoming Virtual Events
  • Kern National Network Connections Newsletter - August 2020
  • Enter the Student Essay Contest on Character in Medicine
Director's Corner
Why Build a Kern Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Medical Education Transformation for "Basic" Scientists?

by Adina Kalet, MD, MPH

This week Dr. Kalet introduces a new Kern Institute program aimed at building capacity for transformational change at MCW and nationally, one teacher at a time …

My grandmother, with her thick Eastern European accent, drove my uncle and me crazy. “Adina is the first ‘Doctor’ Kalet,” she would say, even though my uncle had a PhD in Engineering. He, in fact, had been the very first “Doctor” Kalet, but the family knew what she meant, right? I was the physician. Grandma loved both her son and granddaughter. But, to her, a PhD didn’t make you a “real” doctor. For her, it just wasn’t the same.

Those of us in medical education know, of course, that the education of physicians absolutely depends on basic scientists. Not only because scientists are the “transmitters” of an enormous fund of scientific knowledge to which physicians need access. They are critical because physicians need to experience – and engage with – how scientists think and what they do. For much of what physicians need to learn, scientists are both the content and process experts. Medical education research demonstrates that having scientists as teachers is critical both for practice and policy.
Letter to the Editor
A Call for Waiving the MCAT at our Medical School in the 2021 Application Cycle

by Javier Mora, MD Candidate 2021

Mr. Mora calls on MCW to join other medical schools and national medical organizations in a plea to suspend the requirement for incoming applicants to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) this year ...

Recently, Dr. David Skorton, President of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and Dr. Joseph Kerschner as Chair of AAMC Board of Directors, penned an open letter to medical school applicants upholding the importance and new safety measures when taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) this application cycle. They failed to make the MCAT optional across the board for applicants despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly noting that doing so “could ultimately disadvantage students from underrepresented and lower socioeconomic backgrounds by taking away their opportunity to take the exam and meaningfully compete with other applicants.”
I find this sentiment problematic.
Educational Perspective SPARCC Students Reflect on their Experiences

by Janet Rader, MD, Kristina Kaljo, PhD, Emma Grellinger, Nadia Tabit, Liliana Kasta, and Akanksha Dasari

Eight undergraduate and recently graduated students completed an NIH-funded program at MCW designed to train students in diversity and culturally responsive care in clinical cancer research. In this article, Drs. Rader and Kaljo describe the program. Four of the graduates reflect on their experiences as the first “virtual” students …

After a two-month didactic and research program – delivered, for the first time, on-line – eight SPARCC students shared their projects with each other and a virtual audience at their graduation on August 7, 2020. The program, funded by the National Cancer Institute with support from the MCW Cancer Center, aims to develop and implement an innovative, state-of-the-art, evidence-based cancer educational activity that enhances the diversity of the nation's biomedical, behavioral, and cancer research workforce.
Educational Perspective
How Do We Decide? Seeking Wisdom as we Reopen Schools

by M. Paula Phillips

In this perspective, Ms. Phillips shares her thoughts on making decisions, both as a parent and as a member of the Board of School Directors for Milwaukee Public Schools. She also notes what we can learn from Daniel Tiger ...

All over the country, parents are scrambling to find adequate childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Southeast Wisconsin, 61% of the providers in the licensed group category were closed, either temporarily or permanently since March and school districts across the state have varied reopening plans which has increased stress and desperation. As a school board member that represents nearly 74,000 students and 10,000 employees, I’ve poured over hundreds of letters from students, parents, and educators pleading that we consider how COVID-19 has altered our world and resolve to do what is best. Sentiments include: 
My child is already falling behind! 
I miss my friends. 
How will I be safe? 
I’m afraid. 
“I’ve known this patient for 15 years. She is my patient. We’ve been together in ICU rooms like this before … She is another COVID patient in another ICU bed … There is so much talk of “endings” and “after this” and even of “returning” to some way that we used to be … Our aloneness, while admittedly isolating, is also evidence of our profound connectedness and love.”

Rana Awdish, MD
"The Liminal Space”

New England Journal of Medicine - July 23, 2020
"Well, that is easy. It would be grilled Mahi-Mahi from Mama's Fish House on the island of Maui! Perhaps there are some of you out there who have been?

The restaurant sits oceanside and the cooks bring fish, caught that day, to serve you.

Just 'going there' in my minds eye today brings me joy."

- Wendy Peltier, MD
Responses from Instagram

“Warm sourdough bread with butter & fresh seafood from San Francisco” – Marty Muntz, MD

“Taste of Lebanon in Chicago – best lentil soup ever!” – Sophia Kiernan, Medical Student

“Taylor ham from New Jersey!” – Anonymous

“Spaghetti Bolognese from Trattoria Stefano” – Julia Schmitt, MCW Staff

“Movie theater popcorn” – Matthew Letizia, PharmD

“New York City bagel and lox” – Andrea Rossman, Medical Student

“Wagyu A5 Kobe beef from Japan” – Matthew Wright, MD, MCW 2020 Medical Student Alum, PGY1 at UTHouston in Child Neurology
"I would actually want to snap my fingers and have the person who prepared the meal to appear!

My fondest memories of a meal was when visiting a family friend in Paris. First, the food was delicious (my friend is also a chef) but the French really know how to enjoy a meal. Small bites, lots of conversation. No rush to finish."

- Sandra Pfister, PhD

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:

What binge-worthy TV series are you watching right now?
Share Your Story!

Click anywhere on the image to learn about the AAMC's partnership with StoryCorps and the National Endowment for the Arts to collect stories and poetry from health care professionals relating to their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and persistent inequities in America.
Connection Cafe Presentation
Conversation On Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) and Graduate Medical Education (GME) in a Covid World
by Kenneth B. Simons, MD, Sr. Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education, and Executive Director, Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals (MCWAH)
August 19, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT
Connection Cafe Presentation
Student Mental Health Climate Survey 2020: How are we doing?
by David J. Cipriano, PhD, Director of Student and Resident Behavioral Health, Medical College of Wisconsin
September 17, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT
Grand Rounds Panel Presentation
Navigating Ethical Issues in Resource Allocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Please join us for a panel presentation and Q&A with members of the MCW Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities including Arthur R. Derse, MD, JDMary E. Homan, DrPH, MA, MSHCEFabrice Jotterand, PhD, and Ryan Spellecy, PhD
September 24, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT
Transformational Ideas Initiative
MCW Education Innovation Celebration!

Please join us in celebrating innovative ideas for the transformation of medical education at MCW!

You'll view posters from the 10 teams in our 2019-20 cohort of their completed projects from this past year, as well as learning about the project plans being implemented this academic year by the
17 teams of our 2020-21 cohort.

Join us on the journey to transform medical education!
October 14, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
4:00 - 6:00 pm CT
The Kern National Network
Click anywhere on the image to read the KNN's August 2020 Newsletter
Student Essay Contest!

Describe someone you have encountered in the field of medicine who is a character exemplar - what about them and their actions inspires you and your future work?

For definitions of the 24 character strengths, click on the image at the left.
The Kern Institute is excited to launch a character essay contest for medical students across the Kern National Network of medical schools. 

The essay is an opportunity to reflect on what character means to you and what character strengths you’ve seen exhibited in role models. All essays will be used for us to better understand how students view attributes that make someone a character exemplar in medicine.  

A $25 gift card will be awarded to the contest winner. Essays are due August 28th and should be 700 words or less.
Our Patients Need Your Blood!
The pandemic has changed so much about our day-to-day lives, but it certainly hasn’t changed the need for life-saving blood products for our seriously ill patients. 

Current supplies are limited, which impacts our patients with cancer, chronic anemia, and solid organ transplants.   

Give the gift of hope. Our patients need you today! 
MCW COVID-19 Resource Center
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