Transformational Times

Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community

Friday, February 10, 2023

In This Issue:

Guest Director's Corner


Love in the time of Medicine

IWill 3.0

Poetry Corner

  • Infatuation, by Leonard Brasuel

Upcoming Events/Announcements

My humanity is wrapped up in yours, for we can only be human together

-Desmond Tutu 

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Guest Director's Corner

Valentine’s Day: So much more than Hallmark!

By Wendy Peltier, MD

In this guest Director’s Corner, Dr. Peltier shares the process of curating this special issue with our student editorial team, and the robust response to the call for sharing stories of Love in the time of Medicine……………  


From the first moments of our student editor team’s initial brainstorming about the Transformational Times 2023 Valentine’s Issue, I knew it would be one not to miss. While there is nothing wrong with romance, as we shared reflections on the holiday and what we hoped to capture in the issue, it was clear we would be digging deeper than Hallmark cards, teddy bears and candy hearts. What is ‘Love in the time of Medicine’? How is it different? What does it take to begin and/or sustain a relationship during medical school? Or through the rigors of medical training? We also noted how Valentine’s Day brings an opportunity to pause and celebrate love in all your relationships, not just with a partner, but also with family, friends, colleagues. Our goals were ambitious. We wanted to explore the real history of Saint Valentine, and how this tradition began. We wanted to hear from our fellow students and faculty. We dove in together. Hence, we share what has since become a two-issue series and has far exceeded our expectations! 

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St. Valentine's Day: A Gory beginning to a Romantic Evening

By Julia Bosco, M4

St. Valentine’s Day isn’t rooted in red, pink, and white hearts, candy, flowers, and romantic cards. Its roots are in remembrance of a Roman Catholic priest and physician, who was executed almost two centuries ago because of his faith. Parchment hearts were his coded gift to couples he married secretly. 

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A Love Never-Ending

By Grace Buechel, M3

We’ve all dreamed of our happy ending. It’s what we strive to attain, and it often dictates how we live our everyday life. For me, the happy ending is a successful medical career, a joyful family, bits of traveling and adventure, and of course, a true love. After all, love is a charming, emotional, and foundational part of life. Unfortunately, it took me 20 years to realize what love is all about—to understand that the single most important person you can love is yourself. 

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Better Together


By Traci Bui, M3

‘How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved’ 

-Sigmund Freud  


When I share about my wife, Kacey, I talk about her in a way that sometimes borders on the absurd. And ‘absurd’ might be the only way that I can describe our relationship and medical school experience. I am a member of the MCW medical school class of 2024, the class that started in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. 

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Lets Do this Together!


By Jacqueline Tran, M3

It was not love at first sight. In fact, Brennen and I were both annoyed by each other throughout the first few months of knowing one another. Despite our shared annoyance, our mutual friends kept us within social orbits. With time, late night library studying turned into Chipotle date nights. I realized that even though he acts like a tough guy who works out a lot (which he totally does), he is actually a softy and quite the goofball. Despite first impressions, I found that I enjoyed his company. And so began our story. 

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Unconditional Support


By Gabriela Perez, M2

My husband Matthew and I met in 2017 when we were both working full-time jobs. I held a job as a Biomedical Engineer, and he had a corporate job in the Supply Chain industry. We lived our lives to the fullest. We traveled and met amazing people. We celebrated life, birthdays, and promotions throughout the years. When the pandemic started in March of 2020, we were sent to work from home. In September 2020, we decided it was time to move in together as our relationship progressed.  

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Take A Load Off. Make it Visible.

-Unpacking Mental Load


By Jessica Phelps, MD

The IWill 3.0 Gender-Equity Pledge Campaign begins March 2, 2023, with the AWSM WHM Symposium and the theme, "Broadening Gender Norms – Mitigating Stereotypes.” One potential pledge will be: “I Will explore how my expectations of gender roles affect the division of labor in my workplace and/or household, including mental load.This week, Jessica Phelps, MD reflects on that pledge… 



“This child has two parents. Please alternate calls. It's his father's turn.” I always recall this bold quote from former United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reflecting on her experience as a working mother. She was assertive, to the point, and ahead of her time. While it seems like a simple statement, it is so hard to live it, to own it.  

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By Leonard Brasuel, M1

At night, on the caressing shore of time's distant rapture- 

Two tired figures, 

Alone in their travels, 

Collided while passing the seafront's blue pasture. 

"Pardon me stranger," his words breaking silence, 

"Our paths have disturbed an eremitic confinement. 

I've wandered with none but the wolf's lonesome cry, 

And know naught of love 'cept the sun's harsh desire. 

Weary I grow of life's callous hum, 

Which wakes me in sweats from my bed of sand's dun. 

I appeal to share with what life you have lived, 

For I'm enthralled by the path which has you delivered. 

Divine being, whose beauty I'd never seen yet, 

Whose reflection an angel would come short to best, 

Tell me you'll fulfill an impossible dream, 

Cast me hope's line and reel me in. 

I've always looked back at the nowheres I've been, 

Allow me to look forward- 

Free me my friend." 


"Your statement is bold," she whispered at last, 

"To find such as love when time moves so fast, 

But I can't help but crave the stars in your eyes, 

Tell me oh stranger, do you hear the sea's cries? 

At night full of bitter longings for light, 

The sea's mournful whispers let my sorrows take flight. 

There's less and less solace in walking alone, 

How's a girl to find joy when the dawn's monochrome? 

Lancing with color I've already witnessed, 

Daybreak's a burden to carry such distance. 

If time's led me here mayhap my wanders have ended, 

Your infatuation is clearly a sign from yon heavens. 

I don't want to walk, 

So, let's fly through this life. 

Leave this affliction of distance scarred limbs... 

...Darling, time will not notice as we cease to exist." 


Leonard is in the MCW Class of 2026, MKE. He grew up in Colorado Springs and has been an enthusiastic poet since he was 12 years old. Writing has been a very personal and reflective practice for him, and he has only recently decided to share his work with a larger audience.  

Submit a Poem for Next Week

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

Is there someone in your life you are feeling particularly grateful for this month? What would you want them to know in a Valentine ‘love’ note? 

Share Your Reflection

Please Join Us!

Kern Institute Connection Cafe: Diagnostic Dilemma – A Case-Based Exercise

Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD is a clinician-educator and Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He sees patients and teaches medical students and residents in the emergency department, inpatient wards, and outpatient clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, where he directs the internal medicine clerkship.

In this session, Dr. Dhaliwal will be presented with an unknown case, which he will analyze in real-time with a focus on reasoning and communication with a multidisciplinary team.

February 24, 2023

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

MEB – M1540 - Kerrigan Auditorium

Register Here

Please Join Us!

Kern Institute Connection Cafe: Growth Mindset in a Fixed Mindset Culture

Despite growth mindset’s benefits to learning and well-being, curricula and learning environments espousing the fixed mindset continue to dominate. Participants will learn about the benefits of growth mindset and resistance to its implementation from both a practical and philosophic perspective. 

Dr. James N. Woodruff is the Dean of Students for the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. In this role, he supports medical students in their professional development, specialty selection and residency application. A graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Woodruff completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency in the department of medicine at the University of Chicago. His 8-year tenure as director of the internal medicine residency program and 6-year tenure as the Department of Medicine’s vice chair for education provide him with broad perspective on the medical training pathway.

March 2, 2023

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

HUB - A5520/A5628

Register Here

Developing Medical Educators of the 21st Century

Join us for the 5th Developing Medical Educators of the 21st Century course in San Francisco! We are back with an in-person course, focused on supporting medical educators to engage in transformational change during challenging times. How do we create equitable, inclusive and welcoming learning environments for all?  How do we foster a growth mindset among our learners so they become effective life-long learners? How do we ensure the wellbeing of our learners while also maintaining our own? These and other topics will be addressed in a variety of formats, including plenary sessions by renowned educators, skill-building workshops, consultations with experts, and engaging lunch-time discussions. Participants will have opportunities to network with others and create actionable plans to take home to their own institutions. A group discount will be available for teams from one institution. 


This 3-day intensive course, organized in collaboration with the Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine, targets medical educators from undergraduate and graduate medical education seeking to develop or improve skills in teaching and educational program design. Flexible programming allows participants to select sessions aligned with their interest and experience level. 

February 13-15, 2023

Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, San Francisco

Register Here

MedMoth Storytelling Workshop


Featuring Milwaukee’s Ex Fabula, an organization that builds community through storytelling, this workshop will include low-pressure, interactive activities led by experienced storytelling coaches. Be part of this great opportunity to increase your confidence and craft your own story to share at the spring MedMoth event.

February 23, 2023

6:00-8:00 pm

HUB A1015/A1035

Register Here

Join us for a live storytelling event with MCW Students, Residents, Fellows, Faculty, & Staff

Come share your own story or listen to other narratives and celebrate the commonality of the human experience! Register to be a Storyteller below!


Please join us on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. for MedMoth: A Storytelling Reflection on Medicine. The event will be hosted in person in MCW's Alumni Center.


Listen to stories by faculty, staff, residents, fellows, and students as they share their own true experiences in the world of medicine. Inspired by The Moth, this event will entail authentic storytelling and will be an enlightening audience experience that you won't want to miss.

March 23, 2023

6:30 pm

MCW Alumni Center

Register to be a Storyteller at MedMoth
Register to Attend MedMoth

Get ready to Apply to the KINETIC3 Program!


Are you interested in directing a medical school course in the future? Do you want to learn about active learning techniques for the foundational sciences? Do you want to build character education into your current teaching? Are you looking to improve your teaching skills at the bedside? 

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you should apply to the KINETIC3 program!


The program is entering its sixth year at the Medical College of Wisconsin and has produced 138 graduates. Our program is open to any MCW faculty, staff, advanced practice provider, student, resident, or fellow interested in advancing their skills in medical education. 


We will be holding virtual informational sessions on:

·       March 8th from 12-12:30pm,  

·       March 10th from 11-11:30am,  

·       March 15th from 12:30-1pm,  

·       March 23rd from 12-12:30pm, or  

·       March 27th from 12:30-1pm  

·       ALL VIRTUAL ON MS TEAMS. Please email [email protected] for a calendar invite.  


Get ready to apply! We will open applications for our Excellence in Teaching Track on March 1, 2023 and we will close applications on March 31, 2023.


If you have any questions about the program, please don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For more information please check out our website here. We look forward to your application!

Join a campus-wide educators’ community read of Thanks for the Feedback, by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen 

As a key component of the new MCWfusion Curriculum set to launch in July 2023, we will discuss strategies for preparing for, seeking, understanding, and applying feedback – and consider how we might help our students develop these skills as part of their personal and professional development. This book is full of practical tips that we can also adapt in our own practices of giving and receiving feedback. 

As we understand how busy everyone is, we plan to offer several different ways to interact as a community in book discussions – including asynchronous/online discussions, virtual sessions, and shared reflective writing. Everyone who signs up for this will receive invitations to participate using all methods. While these are not mandatory, we hope that the output of these community discussions will enhance our shared understanding of the topic and lead to enhancement of our MCW learning environments. 

We have many print copies of the book available to use throughout the Spring 2023 semester – though we will ask all of you who receive a book from us to gift it back to an incoming MCWfusion student with a message welcoming them to our community in July 2023, so they can begin their work to develop this skill. Please complete this Qualtrics survey if you are interested in participating and would like a book supplied to you. 

The read is also available on Audible if you’d like to purchase the audio version on your own. Here is a sneak peek as found on Amazon.

Please contact Marty Muntz with any questions.

Read Request for Proposals

IWill 3.0 Will Begin in March 2023

AWSM is excited to kick off IWill 3.0 in March 2023 as we host the AWSM Women's History Month Symposium. Our event includes our three speakers as well as a research poster presentation with awards! Learn more about submitting your poster abstract to our scientific session!

Read the January 5 Issue Here
The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.

Jeff Fritz, PhDEditor-in-Chief

Editorial Board: Bruce Campbell, MDKathlyn Fletcher, MD, Adina Kalet, MD, Wendy Peltier, Karen Herzog, Justine Espisito, Nabil Attlassy, Julia Bosco, Ana Istrate, Wolf Pulsiano, Eileen Peterson,  Anna Visser, James Wu & Emelyn Zaworski

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