Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, July 17, 2020
In this Issue:

Director's Corner
  • Adina Kalet, MD, MPH: Never Waste a Crisis! Now is the Time to Build Learning Communities

Editor's Note
  • Bruce Campbell, MD: Becoming Uncomfortable

Pandemic Perspective
  • Wendy Peltier, MD, and Julie Owen, MD: But Where's the Finish Line?

Your Turn
  • See which books were recommended by readers last week
  • Respond to this week's prompt: If you could travel back in time to January 1, 2020, what is one thing you would want to tell your former self?

  • Help Select this year's MCW Common Read Book
  • Enter the Student Essay Contest on Character in Medicine
  • Register for the Kern Institute's Upcoming Virtual Events
  • Welcome the Transformational Times Associate Editors
Director's Corner
Never Waste a Crisis! Now is the Time to Build Learning Communities

In this week’s Director’s Corner, Adina Kalet argues that we must embrace the moment by making educational technology work for us and ensuring that the learning communities we create put our students on the path to becoming masterful physicians …

We face an existential crisis in education. Because of the pandemic and social distancing, educators need to focus on the essentials: life, health, and the creation of robust learning communities designed to enable our students, teachers and institutions to thrive during these tumultuous times.

The strategies to accomplish this are well understood and readily available, but there are unknowns. The federal government is insisting that all K-12 schools must open this Fall. In fact, any rapid recovery of the economy, if possible, will depend on children returning to the classroom so that parents can return to work. However, completely reopening all schools may put children’s and adult’s lives at risk.

As of last week, two-thirds of US colleges had decided to reopen their campuses for the Fall term. My daughter, niece, and nephews will be on-campus soon, anticipating and needing social connections with peers and teachers. Faculty and students thrive in active learning communities, but university faculty are concerned that reopening might lead to life-threatening consequences.

Can colleges and universities create meaningful learning communities at a “distance”?
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! 
Editor's Note
Becoming Uncomfortable

by Bruce H. Campbell, MD

Dr. Campbell sees parallels in how societal dynamics are at play in two different realms of his life … 

As a surgeon, I have made mistakes that have hurt people. I hope that this fact is not surprising to anyone since, besides being a surgeon, I am also a human being. I have never hurt anyone in the operating room intentionally but, over the years, I am certain that there have bee n more people harmed than I realized.

What happened? Certainly, I never deliberately waded into cases where I knew I was in over my head, but there have been instances where I was inadequately or improperly prepared. Maybe there was a gap in my training. Perhaps I missed a critical experience along the way that would have led me down a different path. Maybe I overlooked an article. Maybe the science had not yet taught us the proper way to care for a specific problem. Maybe I blundered or slipped or got lost. Maybe I should have operated but recommended against it. Or vice versa. Over the course of a thirty-year career and thousands of surgical procedures and patient encounters, I have done my best. I know, however, that for some people, my decisions have led to harm.
Pandemic Perspective
But Where's the Finish Line?
Staying Afloat During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Wendy Peltier, MD, and Julie Owen, MD

Transformational Times Co-Editor Wendy Peltier, MD talks to Julie Owen, MD about strategies for healthcare workers and their supporters to stay healthy as the pandemic turns into a marathon …

It’s hard to believe we are over three months in to this surreal reality of a global pandemic! Must say, I feel tired in my bones, particularly when on call. It has been such a challenge to bring my best self to commitments at work and at home, when everything takes longer than it should and nothing feels normal. After a long hard day of hospital work wearing a mask, trying to stay vigilant about who and what I touch, and still fearing for the safety of my family, I also find it very hard not to be angry when driving home?  It is infuriating to witness so many folks in my community out and about with no masks or social distancing, when I am caring for COVID patients who are dying alone in the hospital.
Dr. Owen, what candid advice can you share about staying afloat when the end of this ‘race’ is not clearly in sight?
“Today, Americans are facing the same choice our ancestors did: We can listen to scientists and spend money to save lives, or we can watch our neighbors die.”

Donald G. McNeil Jr.

"Your Ancestors Knew Death In Ways You Never Will"
New York Times - July 15, 2020
"I recently read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) and would highly recommend it because it was so engrossing, and I had a hard time putting it down.

The book starts with a 13-year old Theo who, after the death of his mother, becomes obsessed with the small painting "The Goldfinch" created by a Dutch painter in the 17th century. The story follows Theo through many changes in his life and contains deep reflections on life, fate, and art across time.

I’m an avid reader and this book really stood out to me."

-Dana Medved, Staff, MCW-Milwaukee

Suggested by Marty Muntz,
Faculty, MCW-Milwaukee

Suggested by Vivian Dondlinger,
Staff, MCW-Milwaukee
Click on the book images for more information.

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:

If you could travel back in time to January 1, 2020, what is one thing you would want to tell your former self?
Help Select this year's MCW Common Read Book!

 The MCW Common Read Committee has elected to pivot this year’s programming to highlight a book that addresses systemic racism and race relations in the United States -- but we need your help -- please vote!
An MCW community-wide vote will take place from
July 20 - July 24 11:59PM CST
to pick one of the books below as the 2020-2021 Common Read.
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.
 Grand Rounds Presentation
A Physician's Story of Recovery
by Adam B. Hill, MD, Pediatric palliative care physician at Indiana University’s Riley Hospital for Children and the author of “Long Walk Out of the Woods ~ A Physician’s Story of Addiction, Depression, Hope, and Recovery.”
August 6, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT
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, JD Mary E. Homan, DrPH, MA, MSHCE Fabrice 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 hear presentations from the 10 teams in our 2019-20 cohort as they implemented their projects this past year, as well as learning about the project plans being implemented this academic year by the 16 teams of our 2020-21 cohort.

Join us on our journey to transform medical education!
October 7, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
4:00 - 6:00 pm CT
Welcome Associate Editors!

Olivia Davies
Anna Janke
Scott Lamm
Eileen Peterson
Sarah Torres
MCW COVID-19 Resource Center
The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.
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