Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, May 15, 2020
In this Issue:

  1. Director's Corner by Adina Kalet, MD: Embracing the New Normal and Who Gets to be a Physician
  2. Perspective from Wendy Peltier, MD: Where is my Toolbelt?
  3. Perspective from Kurt Stefan, MBA: Remote Simulation during COVID
  4. Reflections: What do you hope we all learn from this experience?
  5. Announcements | Resources | Ways You Can Help
Director's Corner
Embracing the New Normal and Who Gets to be a Physician
by Adina Kalet, MD, MPH

The interview and admission processes for medical schools and residency programs are changing before our eyes. Here is what we might expect…

It is an open secret that it is far harder to get into medical school than to stay in. Only 41% of applicants to medical school are accepted in any given year, while medical school graduation rates are over 95% within six years of acceptance and 96% of graduates go on to match into a residency training program. COVID-19 might change all of that.
What are your thoughts?
Where is my Toolbelt?
by Wendy Peltier, MD
COVID-19 has made palliative medicine less "high-touch," but Dr. Peltier tells us how she and her team continue to make a difference...

In normal times, palliative care team members work up-close with patients and families, offering clinical expertise, goal discernment, and support at a patient’s most challenging life transition. Our “tools” include our hands-on clinical expertise where we touch and listen to our patients as we diagnose and treat symptoms, while focusing intently on empathic communication – both verbal and non-verbal – to provide support and to encourage understanding. 
Remote Simulation During COVID-19

by Kurt Stefan , MBA

Simulation and virtual training are even more important these days...

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for online educational experiences across the United States. As medical students were removed from their clinical rotations, simulation-based training was one of the few clinical experiences students could receive during the pandemic. However, it is a challenge to run simulation sessions without physical access to the Standardized Teaching Assessment Resource (STAR) Center, high-fidelity simulators, and equipment, and we were challenged to transition simulations to a fully online experience.
"In our life after this pandemic, I really hope the feeling of community sticks. I have been greeted on my runs and walks more in the last two months than probably ever before. There is an understanding that we are all going through the same thing, and people are going out of their way to check in with neighbors and friends. I hope that continues into the future.

As Americans, we are individualistic and self-centered. I hope that experiencing a time where we are forced to think about the benefit of the community before ourselves will teach us how important it is to serve and care for our communities."

Anonymous Medical Student - MCW-Milwaukee

"I hope that we learn the value of being together. I find myself looking back longingly on rather ordinary gatherings that I used to host fairly often. I miss laughing with friends and extended family-the value being with people we choose. I also hope to remember the moments of joy that would not have happened in my pre-COVID19 life. Watching an episode of West Wing each night with my teenage daughter. Sitting next to my 10-year old son as he works. Preparing and eating actual family dinner-the value of being with family. I love the way our community has shown that we are all in this together. Signs, texts, drive-by parades, food, prayers and good wishes- being together in spirit."

Kathlyn Fletcher, MD - Internal Medicine

"I am optimistic that we will emerge from this experience but I am pessimistic that we will learn much. Nevertheless, if I allow myself to be an optimist, I hope we look back and discover that slowing down was valuable and that we learned to listen to each other, even those with whom we disagree.

I hope that whoever writes the definitive history of COVID-19 discovers that 2020 was a turning point in our culture which led our country to become a more compassionate, caring place, thus inspiring our great-grandchildren to look back on us as another Greatest Generation."

Anonymous Faculty - MCW-Milwaukee

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:
What are some of the new habits you've acquired
these past few weeks?
“The coronavirus crisis has made clear just how inextricable mental health is from physical health.You can't talk about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) without talking about the mental health repercussions, and you can't talk about patients who are dying of COVID-19 without talking about grief."

Jessica Gold, MD - Psychiatry
Washington University

"Could COVID-19 Finally Destigmatize Mental Illness?"
Time Magazine, May 13, 2020
Visit MCW's COVID-19
Resource Center
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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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