Transformational Times

Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community

Friday, February 3, 2023

In This Issue:

Guest Director's Corner


Poetry Corner

  • The Two Kind of People, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Upcoming Events/Announcements

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Guest Director's Corner

The Value of Student-Run Free Clinics for Patients, Students, and the Community

By Rebecca Lundh, MD and Staci Young, PhD

Supporting tomorrow’s leaders in healthcare equity, these clinics offer patient-centered care and rewarding experiences for students...

Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured (SCU) is MCW’s student-run free clinic. Under faculty supervision, medical and pharmacy students are responsible for day-to-day operations and participate in providing patient care and education. Our motivation and inspiration for supporting and advising students at SCU stem from a commitment to health equity and social justice. We believe people have a right to quality healthcare, which means providing holistic and comprehensive care that addresses the diverse health needs and goals of each patient. Through the years, we strive to do this, together with thousands of medical and pharmacy students and hundreds of faculty members full of energy and passion.

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The Ideal Worker at MCW

By Libby Ellinas, MD, MS and Adrienne Mitchell, MBA

Being “always on” does not help us work better or faster. Maximizing the most productive hours of the day and prioritizing wellbeing make us work better...

The IWill 3.0 Gender-Equity Pledge Campaign begins in March 2023 with the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) Women’s History Month Symposium and the theme, "Broadening Gender Norms – Mitigating Stereotypes.” One potential pledge will be: “I Will challenge my own and others' thoughts about how gender impacts MCW’s view of a high performing worker and will recognize the many different qualities and commitments that valued employees bring to the institution.” This week, Libby Ellinas and Adrienne Mitchell reflect on that pledge…

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Improving generalizability of findings through community-specific research

By Suma Thareja, PhD

Subtle differences between social determinants of health in certain populations, such as underserved communities, point to need for community-specific research...

I was paired with Michelle, a middle-aged female patient, as part of the Clinic Continuity Track (CCT) at the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured (SCU). CCT volunteers practice being a primary care provider for one patient longitudinally and learn chronic disease management. While trying to encourage Michelle to improve her diet and exercise as part of her diabetes treatment plan, I learned that she was a full-time assisted living caregiver who hardly had time for herself. Michelle told me, “I work seven days a week, so I have to plan ahead and move my shifts to come to the clinic.”

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From Madison to Milwaukee - Social Determinants Matter


By Jessica Miller, M3

“Jess... my friend overdosed yesterday.”

Several months earlier, as a medical assistant walked me to screen Dennis, she had warned, “This qualifies as a complex case.” Dennis wore a dirty camouflage jacket and tattered cargo pants. Following an eviction, he sought support from his primary care physician to recover from a heroin use disorder. I was assigned to Dennis’s case as a resource navigator. Our check-ins went on for months, and eventually Dennis informed me that he was employed and had an apartment. With the news of his friend’s death, the reality of just how far Dennis had progressed crashed into me. Through our working together to guarantee his hygiene, housing, and income, Dennis had reclaimed a chance at life that his friend never would.

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Connecting with Patients to Learn About Food Insecurities


By Will Davies, M4

Compiling community resources, and talking with patients about the challenges of food insecurity, are good teachers, too...

During the summer after my first year of medical school, I conducted a qualitative research project interviewing geriatric patients on food insecurity at a Milwaukee clinic. I spoke with one patient who had been eating only bread for the past week because that was all he could afford. He was aware of local food banks, but could not access them because he was homebound due to medical conditions. He felt embarrassed that he could not afford food, and it was a major source of stress and sadness for him. Hearing his story, and those of other patients with similar experiences, made me aware of how little our current healthcare system does to address food insecurity. Many patients are not able to address their chronic health conditions because they constantly live with the stress of not having food to eat. Conversation and human connection with patients gave me a much better understanding of this topic I previously had only heard about in lectures.

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Beyond Lectures: Understanding Social Determinants of Health


By Spenser Marting, M4

Learning to address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and financial insecurity, is a valuable part of medical education outside the classroom...

“I am so stressed right now” my continuity patient, “Emilce,” told me as I sat down across from her in an exam room at the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured.

For the past year, I had closely followed this patient through frequent in-person and virtual phone visits, trying to achieve better control of her asthma after maximizing the dosages of standard therapies. However, for reasons unclear, I had lost contact with her for the past month, and we had a lot to address today.

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The Two Kinds of People

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are two kinds of people on earth to-day; Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood, The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth, You must first know the state of his

conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span, Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean, Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses Are always divided in just these two classes.

And, oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween, There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

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 Grand Rounds: The Four Pillars of Well-being: A Scientific Framework for the Cultivation of Human Flourishing

Can mental training actively influence our level of well-being? Research suggests that even small amounts of meditation can lead to important outcomes for our mental and physical health, as well as our success at work and in relationships. In this live talk, Cortland Dahl will share a groundbreaking scientific model that highlights four pillars of well-being — awareness, connection, insight, and purpose — as well as practical strategies for applying them in daily life. Check out Dr. Courtland's course The Art and Science of Human Flourishing and recent article "The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing".

 February 9, 2023

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

MEB – M1540 - Kerrigan Auditorium

Register Here

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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