Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, February 18, 2022
In This Issue Celebrating Black History Month:
Guest Director's Corner


Visual Art
  • Adrienne Davis: Sweet Thing
  • Sarah Farhan: Rebirth

Poetry Corner
  • Michael Esson: Self Portrait
Your Turn

Upcoming Events/Announcements
Guest Director's Corner

Black History Month

By Valerie Flanary, MD, FACS

Dr. Flanary shares her story, first as a Black medical student and now as an MCW faculty member. She tells how the addition of organizations such as the SNMA, Black Men in White Coats, and BLIAT bring promise for the future …

Happy Black History Month! February is the month that we, as a nation, recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Black people in America. This month, I chose to focus my attention on the House of Medicine. While Blacks are 13% of the population, we are only 6% of practicing physicians. As one of the 6%, how did I get here? My parents, members of the Great Northern Migration, would often say that you must have an education to be Black and successful. While I do believe that there is some truth in that statement, I believe that having a strong community is perhaps even more important. Having people around you who listen to, advocate for, and challenge you can positively impact your career. It is even more meaningful if at least some of those people look like you. 


By Linda Nwumeh

Linda Nwumeh, an MCW-Milwaukee medical student, writes about the wonder of some of her first clinical moments ...

Every medical student remembers the day that they received acceptance to medical school―what they were doing, what time of day it was, who they told immediately. It is a memory that holds such salience that it is nearly impossible to forget. What I did not completely expect about medical school was that it was going to be filled with these kinds of memories. Numerous episodes that likely seemed mundane to my professors and physicians that I have shadowed have lodged themselves very firmly within my psyche.

Social Capital: The Flipside of Discrimination

By Tracy Bui


Medical student Tracy Bui, the former co-chair of MCW’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), shares how the use of social capital both addresses and exacerbates racial disparities …

My wife and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Somehow, we got engaged, married, and bought a house all in the span of a year. Sometimes people will ask if our parents helped us with the wedding or mortgage and are impressed to find out that they did not.

My wife and I come from very different backgrounds. Her family is Scandinavian and has been in the Midwest for generations, inheriting land and a cabin from their great-great-grandfather. She has college-educated grandparents, college-educated parents, and a family who had the foresight and means to create a college fund that allowed her to graduate mostly without loans.
Visual Art
 Sweet Thang by Adrienne Davis
 Rebirth by Sarah Farhan
Self Portrait
By Michael Esson

Michael Esson is a student at MCW-Milwaukee

I wish they could look beyond your mysterious smile, 
And see through your unflinching eyes. 
Can they see what hides behind your mask? 
Beyond it lies secrets, 
Protected by a lonely heart in the middle of nowhere. 
Perhaps I will tell you my secret, 
Or maybe there isn’t one to tell, and 
I just need your love and affection. 
For my confessions, 
The price is, you. 
Tears in my eyes, stuck somewhere between sleep and enlightenment, 
scrambling to write to you, as if 
My very essence relies on it. 
In the middle of my sleep, I awoken 
Under the blanket of darkness, I frantically feel around for a pen and paper. 
My hope is that this secret never becomes, 
So, I decide to write to you in the consoles of darkness alone. 
My hope was for these thoughts to be mine alone, 
Locked in the vault of my mind, never for you to see 
Silent as the glow of darkness, never for you to hear 
How selfish. 
As I write this, there is a slitter of light peeking through my blue curtains, 
As if attempting to quietly steal a glimpse at this note, 
And rob you of the knowledge that lies within every falling tear. 
But the tears pouring through this ink is guarded, 
like valuable jewels in its vault, 
never to be unlocked. 
how selfish. 
Under the warmth of darkness, 
I continue to write in the hopes that this note, unlike the others, reaches you 
Stuck somewhere between magic and heartbreak. 
If this note finds its way to you, 
I wonder what you will think of me. 
Will you say I was strong for giving you a piece of myself, 
Or that I’m a coward, like the slitter of light that is now retreating, 
Undoubtedly acknowledging defeat. 
Will you say I was caring, 
That I thought of you enough and like a thief in the night, 
Swiftly wrote this note so I wouldn’t forget you. 
Or will you say I was cruel, 
because I saw you when you were stuck, 
afraid of the light that now invades my privacy and kisses my cheeks, 
I ignored you. 
how selfish. 
My fear is that this note will find its way to you, 
And I will not be enough for you, 
you will continue to pry at my revelation, 
dissecting me into pieces, 
searching for more, 
until you find, you. 
For all the times you are not enough, 
The secret will be in your smile, 
As true as the melodies of a songbird, 
The same smile you once hid. 
It’s in your magnetic energy, 
Which attracts without force, 
The same energy that almost consumed you. 
It’s in the way you move, 
moving only to the beat of your heart, 
the same gated heart protecting you from no one. 
It’s in your eyes, 
for your eyes only. 

February 25 is Thank a Resident Day. In anticipation of this, we invite you to:

Share your thanks for a Resident!

Application Deadline Extended
Transformational Ideas Initiative Program

Ideas should be focused on innovating medical education, including ideas for MCW’s School of Medicine Curriculum Redesign Project or ideas that would improve the learning environment at MCW.

All faculty, students, staff, residents and fellows are encouraged to apply.

The application deadline has been extended to Friday, February 18, 2022 at noon.
Please Join Us
March MedMoth

Please join us on March 2, 2022, at 6:30 pm in person and virtually for MedMoth: Storytelling Reflections on Medicine.

We will be holding a workshop on Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm led by Dr. Bruce Campbell. 
Join us for the February Kern Grand Rounds
Compassionate Caring: One Physician's Journey From Water Therapy to Green Hair

In medicine, caring and compassion can be expressed in many ways. As a resident, Dr. Margolis was exposed to the concept of "letting kids be kids" by one of his mentors who carried a squirt gun with him on rounds. This simple act of caring showed him that there are so many ways for a physician to incorporate compassionate care as a fabric of practicing medicine. 

Dr. Dave will share examples of how he has utilized his interests and network to "let kids be kids" and provide insight from the point of view of patients and families on why caring and compassion matter. 

February 24, 2022
Zoom Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT  
Kaleidoscope Forum
Black History Month: Exploring our Past and Present to Achieve a Healthy Future

Every February, National Black History Month serves as a time to honor and celebrate the legacies, achievements, and contributions of Black individuals to U.S. History. Please join us as we discuss the origin and significance of Black History Month, examine Black representation in healthcare, and hear stories from local heroes whose accomplishments are making a difference.

February 24, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 - 1:00 pm CT  

Submit Abstracts for Ottowa 2022

Ottawa 2022 is to be held at the Lyon Congress Centre, Lyon, France, from 26-28 August, immediately preceding AMEE 2022 as a hybrid, in person and virtual Conference. Plenaries and symposia will be live-streamed for online participants, who will have the opportunity to present in some formats remotely from their own time zone.
This international event provides the opportunity for all involved in the assessment of competence in medicine and the healthcare professions across the continuum of education, to come together to discuss the current status and future direction of assessment and evaluation. Never has there been a more challenging time, or a greater need for such discussions.

Submit by March 1, 2022 for Oral presentations, Conference workshops and ePosters.

Center for the AWSM- Women's History Month Symposium

Join us on March 1, 2022 for the following sessions:

  • 12:00 pm: AWSM’s opening plenary: Reimagining Gender Equity: Accelerating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Women in Medicine with Julie Silver, MD  
  • 1:30 pm: Being an Active Participant in Change: A Conversation on Intersectionality with Nikotris Perkins 
  • 3:00 pm – Panel: Mentoring Women Toward Careers in Research with Virtual Poster Presentation and Awards to Follow  

March 1, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 pm CT  
Join us on March 31, 2022 for the following sessions:

  • 12:00 pm: Administrative Professionals – Past, Present, & Future 
  • 2:00 pm: Strategies to Increase Your Publishing Success & Accelerate Promotion in Academic Medicine with Julie Silver, MD  
  • 4:00 pm: How to Make Science More Exciting and Accessible: Creating Compelling Scientific Figures and Graphs with Laura Flores, MD-PhD candidate 
March 31, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 pm CT  
Save the Date
March Kern Grand Rounds with Reggie Jackson, BS

Reggie Jackson is a nationally heralded independent scholar and much sought-after speaker, researcher, writer, and consultant to the media on race relations.

 As a Milwaukee native, he will bring a unique perspective on not only the national, but more importantly, the local impact of how race relations shape the health of our city, and in turn how it impacts the patients we care for and the communities we serve.

Please save the date and watch for more information to come.

March 17, 2022
Zoom Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT  
Register Now
March Kern Connection Cafe: A Letter to my Future Self...
Moderated by Cassie Ferguson, MD

Come hear our graduating students read and reflect on letters they wrote to themselves nearly three years ago at the end of their REACH curriculum. What character strengths did they hope would guide their actions moving forward? What were they grateful for? What brought them joy? What kind of doctor did they want to become?
So much has changed for these student doctors since writing those letters. How have the values they wrote about then helped them to navigate the unprecedented changes that have marked the last three years? And what can we learn from their reflections that will help us to support the character and professional development of all of our students? 

March 24, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
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 Joan Weiss with any questions.
Register Now
April Kern Connection Cafe: Finding Joy, Resilience and Character: My Medical Education Journey
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  
Save the Date
2022 Understanding Medical Professional Identity and Character Development Symposium

Save the date 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.
Save the Date
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 - 12:00 pm CT  
Please email Devarati Syam or Malika Siker with any questions.
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