Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, June 26, 2020
In this Issue:

Director's Corner
  • Adina Kalet, MD: Mentee-ing Matters

Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
  • Ashley M. Hines: Dear White Colleagues

Fourteen Medical Student Voices
  • Bruce Campbell, MD: M1 Students React to COVID-19: Feeling Helpless, Seeking Knowledge, and Becoming Empowered

Your Turn
  • Tell us about something you hope will be different next week
Director's Corner
Mentee-ing Matters

Dr. Kalet argues that we should be ensuring that all our students and trainees have the mentee-ing skills to have a successful life. Gaining those skills and helping mentees acquire a “mentorship network” are the main responsibilities of the mentor…

Yesterday I received an email from the father of two former “mentees” ( not yet an official word in the English language- but it should be). “ Both J and M acknowledge that your involvement in their lives was life-altering. We are all grateful to you ” he said. Attached was a newspaper article from the small city in which they were born and raised. It profiled the two young men who have joined, in their respective clinical disciplines, the health care system that serves their large rural area. In the accompanying photograph, the men stand back to back in their long white coats.

Although it had been over eight years since I have seen them in the flesh, “that feeling” welled up in my chest. My people, Jews hailing from eastern Europe, call the special sense of pride and joy one gets from the accomplishments of one’s children, “ Nachus .” That is what I felt.
Martin Luther King Drive, Milwaukee, WI - June 19, 2020
Photo courtesy of Julia Schmitt
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
Dear White Colleagues

by Ashley M. Hines

Ms. Hines shares her candid thoughts on being a wife, mother, full-time work-from-home MCW staff member during the COVID-19 pandemic and a Black woman amid the unending pandemic of racism ...

“You took my spot!” a classmate said in response to hearing the news I was accepted into the freshman class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I sat stunned. I took her “spot.” What does that mean? I didn’t think there were any spots. At the time, I didn’t understand the real meaning of these four words. Over a decade later, it now makes sense.

As a wife, mother, full-time work-from-home staff member during the COVID-19 pandemic and a Black woman amid the unending pandemic of racism, I’ve avoided facing my deep pain, hurt, confusion, anger and sadness because I must keep it all together. In this letter, I pause and candidly share my thoughts on our current time. I am not and will never speak for all Black people. I encourage you to read and to listen to the many stories of the Black experience.
Fourteen Medical Student Voices
M1 Students React to COVID-19: Feeling Helpless, Seeking Knowledge, and Becoming Empowered

by Bruce C. Campbell, MD

Despite being isolated because of the pandemic, first year medical students came together virtually to hear basic science and clinical information about SARS-CoV-2 and most created written reflections on the session and their pandemic experiences. Here is a summary of the session and excerpts from fourteen of their essays…

Medical students, like most of us in healthcare, are bombarded with questions about the novel coronavirus. Families, friends, Facebook acquaintances all want to know what to do. A group of MCW educators filled in the gaps.

On May 15, 2020 – while medical students were banned from attending in-person classes and ten days before George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis – medical students from all three MCW campuses joined together virtually and heard presentations on the current state of knowledge about SARS-CoV-2

Students were given the opportunity to obtain one extra-credit point by writing a 500-word response. Of the approximately 250 students who were assigned to watch the presentation, 174 took advantage of the opportunity. Several faculty members volunteered to review the essays and were moved by what they read. Those faculty members each recommended essays for this article.
"[M}eaningful and long-lasting action to create an anti-racist workplace requires strategic vision and intent ... For Black employees who may have already felt like the "others" in organizations where those in power are primarily white and male, this failure to address and discuss the current moment and its implications may cause irreparable harm."

Evelyn R. Carter, PhD

"Restructure Your Organization to Actually
Advance Racial Justice"

Harvard Business Review - June 22, 2020
”Imagine, for a moment, that the moral law within commanded shared endeavor for securing the health of communities. Imagine, further, that the healing professions together saw themselves as bearers of that news and leaders of that change."

Donald M. Berwick, MD

"The Moral Determinants of Health"
JAMA - June 12, 2020

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Join the Kern Institute for the
Transformation of Medical Education

"My wish for next week is that I learn how to put aside my worries for solid stretches of time. I want to feel happy and hopeful again.

The heaviness of today's realities - coronavirus, social injustice, the economy - it's overwhelming."

-Anonymous, Staff, MCW-Milwaukee

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:

What do you hope people see in you once they have a chance to get to know you?
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The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.
Bruce Campbell, MD, Editor-in-Chief
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