Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, June 5, 2020
In this Issue:

  1. Director's Corner by Adina Kalet, MD: Everything Around Us has to do with Medical Education
  2. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Malika Siker, MD: Confessions of a So-Called Diversity "Expert"
  3. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Sherréa Jones, PhD: The Disease of Racism
  4. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Cassie Ferguson, MD: From Ally to Accomplice
  5. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Laura Grogan: I am White and I Have Been Complacent
  6. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Christopher Davis, MD: Coronavirus and Inequities: Why the Shock?
  7. Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective from Marty Muntz, MD & Kristina Kaljo, PhD: Speak Up in the Face of Microaggression
  8. Pandemic Reflection from Kelsey Lamb & Ashley Creager: Finding Purpose and Garnering Hope in the Era of COVID-19
  9. Pandemic Reflection from Meghan Nothem, DO: Reflections on Courage
  10. Take 3 from Froedtert Hospital Care Managers: Meghan Lockery, Josh Hintz, Jodi Liddicoat, & Carolyn Schweitzer
  11. Reflections: What is one thing that made you laugh this week?
  12. Links | Resources | Ways You Can Help
June 4, 2020 - Froedtert Hospital Campus, Milwaukee
Director's Corner
Everything Around Us has to do with Medical Education
by Adina Kalet, MD, MPH

In this special issue of the Transformational Times , we react and respond to recent events and call for our MCW community, most of us white, to engage immediately in deep, difficult conversations aimed at creating change…

I have colleagues and friends who are afraid for their children. In the middle of a pandemic, which is hitting communities of color – particularly African American men and women – harder than other groups of Americans, colleagues who are professors of medicine and leaders of public health in elite American academic institutions, are not only worried about dying of the novel coronavirus, they fear being victims of violence because they are Black.
Seeking Co-Editors!

We are seeking individuals to assist with the Kern Institute's Transformational Times newsletter. Although all members of the MCW community are welcome to apply, we are particularly interested in adding student and trainee voices to our team. Persons identifying as members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged.
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
Confessions of a So-Called Diversity "Expert"

by Malika Siker , MD

Dr. Siker offers ideas on how everyone can grow, heal, and become allies…

I was recently called an “expert” in diversity. This made me cringe. Although I have the words “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “dean” in my academic title, I submit that I am no expert. Even after a lifetime of work in this area, either through lived experience or professional activity, I have so much more to learn. I continue to make mistakes and grow thanks to the compassion and grace of those around me. It is a journey of self-discovery and humility that is frequently painful, but the wisdom to do right by others is its own reward.
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
The Disease of Racism

by Sherréa Jones, PhD  

Dr. Jones– Co-President, MCW Chapter of the Student National Medical Association - offers her reflections and advice...
Racism is a disease that inflicts every black person in this country. We live with this disease our entire lives. There is no escaping it, overcoming it or undoing it. The white people who infect us with this disease pretend to not know it is there despite perpetuating it, benefitting from it and using it. Seeing the evidence of countless numbers of people suffering from it and the mounting dead bodies it has claimed that line the streets of every state in this nation is not enough for there to be any real attempt at addressing it.
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
From Ally to Accomplice

by Cassie Ferguson , MD

Dr. Ferguson reacts to a powerful message at the time when our country sits at a tipping point…

I have for too long banked on my liberal political beliefs, my voting record, and my attendance at marches for women’s rights and affirmative action in order to opt out of examining my own complicity and participation in racist systems.
I have for too long rested comfortably in my belief that I am an empathic educator, an enlightened mentor and advisor, and in the belief that this is enough to support the students to whom I am responsible.
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
I am White and I Have Been Complacent

by Laura Grogan

Medical student Grogan reflects on the perpetuation of systemic racism at MCW…

Watching the recent events unfold across our country, I have been contemplating my role as a white 31-year-old (non-traditional) rising M2 that considers themselves anti-racist. Reflecting on my first year of medical school, I recall times I failed to address systemic racism. I would like to acknowledge my cowardice in this, to apologize, and endeavor to share my reflection in hopes that this may promote conversations about white complacency and the role of the privileged in dismantling a structure designed for our benefit. 
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
Coronavirus and Inequities: Why the Shock?

by Christopher Davis, MD, MPH

Dr. Davis examines the current state of affairs through the eyes of a trauma surgeon, the lens of a public health professional and the experiences of his loved ones…

These times are an unnecessary reminder of the need to care for one another as humans and the repercussions of not doing so. I remain dumbfounded at the suggestion that the coronavirus epidemic has “laid bare” the inequities in this country. Those inequities were entirely clear decades and centuries ago.
Racial Injustice & Inequities Perspective
How We Learn to Speak Up in the Face of Microaggression

by Marty Muntz, MD & Kristina Kaljo, PhD

Dr. Muntz and Dr. Kaljo outline a technique to classify microaggressions and issue a call to our academic community to Speak-Up …

In the face of injustice, academic medicine must lead in the pursuit for equity. We look forward to listening to, learning from, and standing with all of you on this righteous path. To play a meaningful role in societal transformation, however, we in the house of medicine must “take care of our own backyard” by ensuring that our clinical learning environments support inclusivity, collaboration, and character in support of excellence in learning and patient care.
Pandemic Reflection
Finding Purpose and Garnering Hope in the Era of COVID-19

by Kelsey Lamb and Ashley Creager – Medical student co-facilitators in the MCW COVID-19 virtual support group project
"Sometime mid-March, we all experienced a life-altering moment, the kind in which we will always remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we got the news. It looked different for each of us – for some, it was a call to action. For others, it was a request to step back for the sake of the community. No matter where we landed on the spectrum in terms of our work, we were asked to put a pause on “normal.” -Kelsey Lamb
"From early on, medical school has felt like a great pressure cooker of stress. The days are long, the hours exhaustive, the anxieties pervasive. However, when COVID-19 swooped in entirely uninvited, the pressure was released in a single moment and complete entropy ensued. The entropy, the chaos, and the unknown have imposed a unique burden all its own."
-Ashley Creager
Pandemic Reflection
Reflections on Courage

by Meghan Nothem, DO, second-year internal medicine resident at MCW.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a disheartening and unsettling time. I have experienced shock, dismay and frustration to a level at which I could never have anticipated prior to beginning my post-graduate training. I have witnessed healthcare providers display both courage and fear in the face of a virulent disease with sparse and often inadequate personal protective equipment. There have been moments which have terrified me to the core but fortunately, these are overshadowed by the selflessness of my peers and the positivity they have shown during this truly terrifying time.

Courage can be defined as "stepping up to the plate" when few others will. It means showing up to care for critically ill patients and maintaining positivity for those who will benefit from hiding personal fear. It means acting as a connection between patients and families when they are separated by a screen. It means acting as a leader for those who need a strong voice to carry them through. It means telling your family that you are not worried, so that they may rest easy. It means telling your civilian friends that the situation is under control but that they should continue to stay home for their own protection and for the safety of others. It means isolating yourself in an already emotionally challenging profession. It means putting your own feelings, worries, pain and sleeplessness aside and fighting another day. Thank you to all of the co-residents, medical professionals and staff who have helped me to help others during this era of unforeseeable challenge.  
From the Front Line
Three Questions for
Froedtert Hospital Care Managers

Meghan Lockery, CAPSW, MSW
Josh Hintz, CAPSW, MSW
Jodi Liddicoat, CAPSW, MSW, SBIRT
Carolyn Schweitzer, CAPSW, MSW

  1. 1. What has surprised you most about the COVID pandemic?

  1. 2. What new challenges have you faced in supporting COVID patients in the hospital?  

  1. 3. Is there something from your experience that you will bring forward as we enter into recovery?  
"My cat Maizie! Her antics and goofy personality are a great reminder for me to never take myself too seriously."

"Being at home has given me more time with my pets and really emphasizes the therapeutic role animals can play in our lives."

-Tara Mather, Student, MCW-Milwaukee

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:
What concept do you now understand more deeply that you did a few weeks ago?
"A rigorous examination of the role medicine plays in perpetuating inequity across racial lines is often missing in medical school curricula … change will require substantive, interdisciplinary conversations about the social accountability of medicine in the past and present."

"Changing How Race Is Portrayed in Medical Education: Recommendations From Medical Students"
Edwin Nieblas-Bedolla, MPH, Briana Christophers, Naomi T. Nkinsi,
Paul D. Schumann, and Elizabeth Stein
Academic Medicine
Released June 1, 2020
Monday's Letter from MCW President, Dr. John Raymond
June 1, 2020

Dear Faculty, Students, Friends and Staff:

The troubling and unsettling events of the past week and weekend around the country and in our region underscore the need to address structural racism and its resulting health disparities and inequities – both within our institution and in the community-at-large. Dr. Kerschner’s and my message to you yesterday reiterated our responsibility to engage actively in dialogue that brings us closer to one another and improves the health and wellbeing of our community. 
American Medical Association Webinar
COVID-19 Resource Center
Be a Hero - Donate Blood!
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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