Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, March 18, 2022
In This Special Match Day Issue:
Associate Director's Corner


Take 3

Poetry Corner
Associate Director's Corner

Each of us is Worthy of Being Chosen

By Cassie Ferguson, MD

Dr. Ferguson shares her thoughts around the scarcity mentality and how we can each reclaim our purpose and remember that we are enough…

Beginning at the moment I decided to go to medical school—the moment I opened up the UCLA course catalog to figure out how many quarters it would take to finish all the pre-med requirements—it felt as if I was giving up ownership of my life. The 26 medical schools I applied to (25 of which I was rejected from) determined that I would pick up and move 2,000 miles away to Wisconsin, leaving behind family, friends, and a two-year-long relationship. The USMLE chose what specialties I was good enough to pursue. The complexities of the NRMP couples matching system dictated that my partner and I interview at 30 different residency programs and rank 90 distinct permutations before determining that we would move to Colorado to begin our life as a newly married radiologist- and pediatrician-to-be.

Match Day Memory

By Zachary Markman, MD

Dr. Markman, a PGY4 resident in the Department of Psychiatry shares what he remembers about his own Match Day …

I didn't think I would be nervous for Match Day. I knew from earlier in the week that I had matched, and I was fairly confident I would be happy with where I ended up. I thought I had a reasonable chance at getting my first choice, and an excellent chance at getting my third choice. And I would have been happy with any of them, except for my very last choice; I really didn't want that one. 

Match Day Reflection

By Matt Weber, MD

Dr. Weber, a chief resident in Internal Medicine, takes a lighthearted look at his own Match Day experience …

I awoke at nine in the morning, groggily making my way downstairs. I had been off rotations for over a month now and was not accustomed to waking so early in the day. My roommates had been up for a couple of hours, already uniformed in their navy Match Day shirts. They had even taken the time to fill in the blank space on the shirt allotted for their chosen specialty. The space for the location of their residency remained empty.

The Ritual of Match Day

By Mark Drake, MD

Dr. Drake, an MCW-Milwaukee alumnus and current PGY-2 resident, went through the Match in March 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning. He discusses Match Day as one of the rituals of medical school …
As the first and only physician in my family, the start of medical school was both an exciting and terrifying time. I moved to Milwaukee knowing not a soul, and quickly bonded with my classmates, many of whom were in the same boat as me. As orientation week came to a close, I learned about an aspect of medical school that I hadn't expected at all: the rituals.

When "Match" Comes

By Nai-Fen Su, PhD

Dr. Su, who is the Associate Director of Career Services in the Office of Academic Affairs, describes the new SOAP process and celebrates the successes of the MCW Class of 2022 …
Currently, over 50,000 applicants participate in Match. Besides the military match in December and the ophthalmology and urology match in February, March is an exciting month for most medical students, faculty, and staff.
The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®), or The Match®, is a private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism for matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors.

Bigger Bandwidth - How Efficiency in Medicine Can Promote Leadership and Empower Budding Doctors

By Stacy Moroz

Medical student Stacy Moroz continues the discussion from the 2/4/2022 Transformational Times about Student Leadership Development and the benefits of being open to new teaching methodologies…

Empowerment pushes people to “sit at the table,” a phrase coined by award-winning author and leadership coach Sheryl Sandburg to describe the essential step of embracing challenges without the assurance of success in those endeavors. The importance of “sitting at the table” lies in its agonistic effect on self-confidence. That is, as we grow to believe we are capable, we adapt to environmental changes faster, grow more resilient, build our skillsets, and become better problem-solvers. This lifts the restrictive fear of failure, leaving more energy to work on our goals and use mistakes as learning opportunities. Notably, empowerment also gives us a feeling of purpose - a powerful tool for mitigating burnout. 
Take 3 with Zandra Clevert

Match Day

Zandra E. Clevert, the Program Coordinator in the MCW Office of Student Affairs, writes about how Match Day affects the staff who work behind the scenes, as well …

Ms. Clevert answers the following questions:

  • What has changed about Match Day over the past few years?
  • What was the most memorable Match Day-related experience you ever had?
  • What always surprises you about being part of many Match Days?
Take 3 with Mary Heim

Match Day

Mary Heim, MS LPC, Program Manager in MCW’s Office of Student Affairs, shares a behind-the-scenes look at Match Day …

Ms. Heim answers the following questions:

  • What was the most memorable Match Day-related experience you've ever had?
  • What preparations are there for your office that no one knows about or truly understands?
  • What always surprises you about being part of many Match Days?
by Jinit Sanjiv Desai

I claim no wondrous insight, no special labor, no mythical process.

My hope is for these words to find kinship or be of instrumental value.

I can think too much. I dig mental grooves as wide-eyed thoughts pace, scrutinizing data in the different lights made by a seeking soul.

Knowledge's arms can be short, cold, and irrelevant.

I know there is no perfect list.
I know to consider "the vibe," curriculum, career, and so on.
I know to interrogate and prioritize preference, to aim for honesty and acceptance.
I know that, often, you just "go with your gut."

My cacophonous insides, however, are like falling snow in their argumentation and consistency. Swerving. Contradictory. At once both bold and hesitant.

Peace is a kind of conflict. A rugged balance won with perseverance and guarded by faith and compassion.

Who am I?
What have I chosen?

Many scales hold countless masses. No unifying fulcrum announces its character. Throwing time into this space of interdependent needs, values, and goals yields a bewildering calculus that grows only murkier as one peers farther and further from now.


Challenge your order.
Watch how it fights, squirms, lands.
Wait for it to settle.

The spirit reasons, quibbles, and rants. The spirit hungers, languishes, and bucks. A spirit needs an ear and a hand. A spirit needs a home.

Residency is largely exploitation poorly clothed as noble apprenticeship.

Chances are, horizons will stumble and collapse. Effort will fail and gasp.

But residency is also something beautiful and sacred, a strait filled with colorful, contorted bodies.

Ask where the tide's uncertain tidings shall carry the least fear.
Ask where the moon will rise.
Ask where the wind will stir again.

Love and becoming matter no less than duty and valor.

Our work is honorable enough.

Jinit Sanjiv Desai was in his last semester at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, Illinois when he wrote this poem. His other publications include "Medicine is a March," on in-Training, and "Humbled," in Academic Medicine.
Words from our readers...
What is your favorite mobile app and why?

Daylio. It allows me to quickly journal my mood and tracks the data over time. The app has given me great insights into which activities are associated with how I feel. I use the graphs it creates to design my days to include more of what that energizes me and decrease the draining things. For example, I was surprised to see I always feel tired after eating something sugary and delicious. This info motivated me to finally switch from afternoon sweets to good-tasting nutritious food that boosts my mood instead of makes me want to nap. Similarly, I take advantage of more teaching opportunities now that I know how much time with students brings me joy.
Jasmine Dowell, Faculty
Messenger or Zoom - whatever enabled me to visually connect with…
  • my grandmother in her nursing home, 
  • my infant-now-toddler niece states away, 
  • My students in their homes or study rooms on campus
  • My colleagues scattered all over southeastern WI
  • My community as municipality meetings and school board meetings finally went online
  • Friends around the world gathered to play games, toast a happy hour, catch up, share news, just SEE each other. 
Meaghan Hayes, Staff
For this week's reflection prompt, please answer the following question:

The Unfit Brain and the Limits of Moral Bioenhancement
By Fabrice Jotterand, PhD

This important and timely book fills a gap in the literature to inform the scientific and medical community, and society at large, on the potential use of moral bioenhancement techniques in clinical psychiatry. The book offers a critical examination of the neuroscientific realities of altering or manipulating moral behavior through technological means and argues that more conceptual work is required before potential implementation in clinical practice.

Please complete this anonymous survey on what an antiracist medical school curriculum might look like at MCW

We have designed a short survey for both students and teaching faculty. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. The data will be combined with data from the Design Sprint held on January 20, 2022. Your voice matters. The more perspectives, the better!
Follow the QR code or use the button below to fill out the survey.

The survey closes on March 19, 2022. 

Register Now
March Kern Connection Cafe: A Letter to my Future Self...
Moderated by Cassie Ferguson, MD

Come hear our graduating students read and reflect on letters they wrote to themselves nearly three years ago at the end of their REACH curriculum. What character strengths did they hope would guide their actions moving forward? What were they grateful for? What brought them joy? What kind of doctor did they want to become?
So much has changed for these student doctors since writing those letters. How have the values they wrote about then helped them to navigate the unprecedented changes that have marked the last three years? And what can we learn from their reflections that will help us to support the character and professional development of all of our students? 

March 24, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
March Kaleidoscope
Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá: The Bicultural Latinx Experience in Medicine 

Generational differences exist among individuals within the Latinx community. Many Latinx individuals straddle two worlds, trying to navigate their bicultural identity and find their sense of belonging. Please join us as we discuss what a Latinx bicultural identity is, explore the experiences and challenges faced by bicultural Latinx individuals in medicine, and discuss the importance of recognizing biases and preconceived notions to establish a safe space and build community.

March 24, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
12:00 - 1:00 pm CT  

Join AWSM on March 31, 2022 for the following sessions:

  • 12:00 pm: Administrative Professionals – Past, Present, & Future 
  • 2:00 pm: Strategies to Increase Your Publishing Success & Accelerate Promotion in Academic Medicine with Julie Silver, MD  
  • 4:00 pm: How to Make Science More Exciting and Accessible: Creating Compelling Scientific Figures and Graphs with Laura Flores, MD-PhD candidate 
March 31, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 pm CT  

Call for Submissions for 2022 KNN Conference

Faculty, staff and learners at KNN founding member schools are invited to submit a proposal for various presentation types and a poster session at the 2022 KNN Conference.

The theme is "Connect, Convene, Catalyze Toward Flourishing" and submissions should emphasize caring, character, practical wisdom and/or human flourishing in medicine.

Submissions are due before Midnight PT on April 1, 2022.

The Kern KINETICTeaching Academy is Recruiting for the
2022-2023/4 Cohorts

The Kern Institute’s KINETIC3 Teaching Academy is a professional enrichment program to support thriving, confident educators across the health professions by integrating the 3C’s of character, caring, and competence with a deep understanding of effective pedagogy. In this, we aim to foster a regional and national network of professionals who, collectively, will transform medical education.

All faculty, APPs, staff, senior residents and fellows are encouraged to apply! 
The Excellence in Teaching Track (EiT) 2022-2023 
  • Year-Long Track
  • Equip Participants with teaching skills for the classroom and/or bedside
  • Our core 3Cs curriculum (Character, Caring, Competence)
  • Interactive curriculum through monthly workshops
  • Teaching observations, in which experienced coaches will identify in real-time opportunities to strengthen teaching skills and provide constructive feedback
  • Creation of a professional Teaching Portfolio

The Medical Education Research (MER) Track 2022-2024
  • Two-year long track
  • Goal to develop skills in educational scholarship and pedagogy
  • Participants will produce a medical education capstone project
  • Guided by structures educational research and human-centered design curriculum with the support of a mentor
  • Delivered in day-long boot camps
  • Complimented with rotating monthly writing circles to provide time focused on capstone work

Applications are OPEN and are due on March 31, 2022 by midnight

Do you have more questions about KINETIC3?

Four lunchtime information sessions will be held for anyone interested in applying but may still have questions. These sessions will be held from 12:00 - 12:30 pm via Zoom on:
  • March 8
  • March 10
  • March 16
  • March 22 

Email Vivian Dondlinger or to register and receive an Outlook calendar invitation for the session you would like to attend.
Register Now
2022 Well-Being Summit: Inhale, Exhale, and Engage: Harnessing Happiness, Joy, & Resilience in Healthcare
Proudly Sponsored by the Kern Institute

Please join us for the 2022 Well-Being Summit!
David Weill, MD, author of the book Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant will be providing the keynote address on the topic of burnout.
This event is open to all and anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to attend.

April 5, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
9:00 am - 12:00 pm CT  

Please email Venus Coates with any questions.
Register Now
Join us for a Virtual Home Organization Workshop for Medical Students

Ashley M. Hines, professional organizer, founder, and owner of Thee Tailored Life, partners to help people keep what serves them and organize spaces where they can thrive. In this session, she will share with you her organizing journey, the benefits of living organized, and practical ways to start and
stick with it!

April 7, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
12:00 - 1:00 pm CT  
Register Now
April Kern Connection Cafe: Finding Joy, Resilience and Character: My Medical Education Journey
With panelists Hallie Tolo, Morgan Ashley Craft, Sarah Torres and Peter Nguyen
Moderated by Malika Siker, MD

From serendipitous encounters to unexpected challenges, the path to becoming a physician is unique for each of our learners. While our students face academic rigors and clinical demands, they also find deep purpose and wonder in the pursuit of healing humankind. Join us as we hear how four of our M4 learners forged their resilience, built their character, and found joy during their journey in medical education, followed by a Q&A where they share their secrets to success.

April 14, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
Register Now
2022 Understanding Medical Professional Identity and Character Development Symposium

Join us for the second annual Understanding Medical Professional Identity and Character Development symposium. This year's half-day event will be held virtually on April 22, 2022. We will welcome keynote speaker Dr. Tasha Wyatt of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and also host workshops and discussion groups on major topics on PIF and character development. 
April 22, 2022
9:00 am - 2:00 pm CT  

Please email Michael Braun or Penelope Lusk with any questions.
Register Now
2022 Summit on Advancing Equity in the Learning Environment

Please join us to explore, discuss and align our efforts in equity-focused initiatives in the learning environment! The summit will highlight how MCW incorporates equity into the learning environment while examining four areas: (1) Curriculum (2) Equitable Assessment and Mitigating Bias (3) Learning Environment Culture and (4) Equity in Research Education.
April 28, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
9:00 am - 1:00 pm CT  
Please email Devarati Syam or Malika Siker with any questions.
Register Now
Curriculum Planning Virtual Retreat

The Curriculum Innovation team invites you to register for a virtual half-day retreat on Monday, May 2, from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. We invite all faculty, staff and students to attend and share feedback on some of the curricular models. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We hope you'll join us!

May 2, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
8:00 am - 12:00 pm CT  

Register Now
Faculty Development Day: Thriving at All Stages of Your Career

The Office of Faculty Affairs is thrilled to host an all virtual Faculty Development Day: Thriving At All Stages of Your Career. This annual one-day event provides resources to enhance overall faculty professional development in a variety of areas, with a special keynote address at noon.

Many Kern Institute faculty are contributing to sessions at this event, with Dr. Adina Kalet facilitating a Mentoring Intensive Workshop. Registration for this Workshop is limited and only open through the end of March.

May 12, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
8:00 am - 5:00 pm CT  

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