Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, July 31, 2020
In this Issue:

Director's Corner
  • Adina Kalet, MD, MPH: Bad Doctors, Rare but Devastating, Reveal our Vulnerabilities and Opportunities to Create Robust Character and Professionalism in Medical Education

Grand Rounds Preview
  • Adam Hill, MD: A Physician's Story of Recovery

Educational Perspectives
  • Wendy Peltier, MD: A Letter to our Interns
  • Kim Tyler, MD, MS: A View from Internship

Your Turn
  • See how readers answered last week's prompt: What podcasts are you loving right now, and why?
  • Respond to this week's prompt: What's one thing you're grateful for this week?

  • Register for the Kern Institute's Upcoming Virtual Events
  • Enter the Student Essay Contest on Character in Medicine
Director's Corner
Bad Doctors, Rare but Devastating, Reveal our Vulnerabilities and Opportunities to Create Robust Character and Professionalism in Medical Education 

In this week’s Directors Corner, Dr. Kalet highlights what “black swans” or “bad apples” reveal about our vulnerabilities in medical education and what we need to do to ensure the public’s trust …

My heart sinks every time. In an era when trust in medicine and science is put to the test every single day, we do not need another “bad doctor” story. But there it is in the New York Times. Dr. Sapan Desai, who founded a company named Surgisphere while he was a surgery resident at Duke, provided aggregated, unverifiable – and likely falsified – data for two COVID-19 hydroxychloroquine studies published by Harvard Medical School researchers in Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine . Dr. Desai refused to release the raw data when scientists around the world questioned the veracity of the studies. Both papers were rapidly retracted.

This type of “fake science” does immeasurable harm. It creates confusion. Critical public health messaging is interrupted, making the dissemination of actual findings more difficult. It threatens public confidence in much needed, ongoing clinical trials. It ruins trust in the medical profession. But while we would like to demonize this one “bad apple,” he is not the only one to blame. We must examine the system that enabled him to thrive.  
Grand Rounds Preview
A Physician's Story of Recovery

 Dr. Hill, author of Long Walk Out of the Woods ~ A Physician’s Story of Addiction, Depression, Hope, and Recovery will present Kern Institute Grand Rounds this week. We asked him three questions in anticipation of his presentation ...
  1. You developed and direct a program at Riley Hospital for Children called Compassion Rounds. What led you to develop the program and what impact do you see it having?
  2. How do you use empathy to explore the emotions and needs of your patients? 
  3. As a palliative care specialist, how do you manage your own mental well-being while caring for patients, especially during the pandemic or any other crisis?
Kern Institute Grand Rounds
Virtual Presentation by Dr. Adam Hill
Thursday, August 6, 2020 | 9:00am CT
Educational Perspective
A Letter to our Interns

by Wendy Peltier, MD

Dr. Peltier, who graduated from medical school in 1991, shares her perspectives with our newest graduates on how the uncertainty of treating COVID-19 reminds her of her days caring for patients with HIV/AIDS …

Dear friends going through your internship,
Congratulations on becoming PGY1s! Truthfully, most memories of the times around my internship at Rush Medical College in 1991 are a blur. For example, I cannot recall the popular songs, who won the Super Bowl, or even the model of car I drove. However, as clear and crisp as if it was yesterday, I remember the faces and stories of many of the patients and families for whom I cared.
1991 was near the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Young, talented, previously healthy homosexual men were hospitalized in droves with frightening, rare conditions including Kaposi’s sarcoma, PCP pneumonia, CNS lymphoma, and terrifying degrees of cachexia. Each diagnosis was a death sentence and most HIV/AIDS patients knew they were dying. Their families were afraid to walk into their rooms or to touch them. Many patients disclosed their sexuality to loved ones for the first time at the same time they learned they had a terminal diagnosis. I sensed everyone’s fear and anxiety. I saw first-hand the stigma and bias the patients and families endured.
Educational Perspective
A View from Internship

by Kim Tyler, MD, MS

Dr. Tyler, who recently graduated from medical school, shares her thoughts on developing a professional identity even as medicine goes through the upheaval of a pandemic …

Starting my intern year during a pandemic is not what I had in mind a year ago when I was preparing residency applications. I could never have anticipated what this first month of internal medicine residency would be like. I find myself thinking multiple times each day, “I should not be allowed to do this.” “Who decided that I was qualified to do this ?!” “It is wild that they let me do this.” There is a constant tension between what I feel is expected of me and what I feel is within my abilities. I wrestle with “ Impostor Syndrome .”
The first time a patient called me their “doctor,” for example, I nearly fell over. The first time I was summoned to pronounce a patient’s time of death, I stared at my pager wondering if they’d contacted the wrong person. A few weeks out of medical school, “doctor” is an identity I have not yet learned to accept.
“If everyone took a stand to stop racism and found a way to participate in sustainable change, the result could be transformational."

"Given the tragic effects of the convergence of racism, social risk, and COVID-19, we hope that the U.S. experience of the pandemic becomes a call for changing the systems that perpetuate poor health.”

a quote from the article
"Structural Racism, Social Risk Factors, and COVID-19 —
A Dangerous Convergence for Black Americans”

by MCW faculty members
Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS and Rebekah J. Walker, PhD

New England Journal of Medicine - July 22, 2020
“Shelter in Place" is not just about where you find safety, but about where you belong.” -Laura Joyce Davis

The overarching themes of this podcast include authenticity, community, creativity, courage, growth, faith, laughter, lament, rest, touch, and safety. Episodes consist of interviews and thoughtful reflections about identity, race, friendship, family, justice and artistic expression through the lens of an award-winning author, athlete, mother and master story-teller.

The 10-20 minute episodes are a breath of fresh air to add to the daily commute, a jog outside, or a cup of coffee.

-Joyce Sanchez, MCW Faculty
"Amanda Seales “Small Doses“ is giving me life right now! She’s like the friend you need to hype you up and keep you honest and challenged to be better all at the same time—right in your pocket!

-Laura Grogan, Medical Student

"I recently learned about "Small Doses" with Amanda Seales from a friend, and I have been listening to it nonstop. Amanda is a comedian/activist/actress/author who created this phenomenal podcast that is filled with honest and open conversation on topics that are relatable and necessary to be unpacked. The show is as smart as it is hilarious, and consistently makes me laugh, think, and pause it so that I can take notes!"

-Jess Sachs, Medical Student

"Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend."

It's not something I would have usually picked, but I realized I was missing some laughter in my life and this podcast cracks me up!"

-Heather Aschoff, MCW Staff

"I'm loving "On Being" with Krista Tippett and Brene Brown's "Unlocking Us."

They both ask really difficult questions in a spirit of curiosity and empathy. While neither offer easy answers, they do it in a way that's comforting and thought provoking."

-Katie Recka, MCW Faculty

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:

What's one thing you're
grateful for this week?
 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 view posters 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 17 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
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
The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.
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