Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, November 6, 2020
In this Veteran's Day Issue:

Editor's Corner
  • Bruce Campbell, MD, FACS: My Dad was a Veteran

Guest Director's Corner
  • Louis Pangaro, MD, MACP: Learning to Care for Those in Harm’s Way – Educational Innovations from The Uniformed Services University School of Medicine

  • Eric Holmboe, MD: The Impact of Military Service on a Clinician-Educator’s Career: A Personal Story
  • Kenneth Lee, MD: Veteran’s Day Reflection
  • Tej Ishaan Mehta MD: On a Pale Horse – Veterans, Values, and Viruses
  • Nicholas Krueger: My Journey to Becoming an Army Doctor
  • Corey McKenzie: Veteran’s Day Reflections as a Service Member and Medical Student

Take 3
  • Jeffrey Jackson, MD, MPH: In the Service of Fellow Veterans

Poetry Corner
  • John McCrae, MD: In Flanders Fields

Your Turn
  • See how readers answered last week's prompt: What do you love most about your pet?
  • Respond to this week's prompt: What has been the best part of your day today?
  • Respond to this week's character question: What kindness ripple will you start today?

Announcements & Resources
  • Respond to Kern's RFP to build Medical Education Transformation Collaboratories
  • Learn How You Can Be Involved in the 2020 MCW Common Read
  • Register for the Kern Institute's Upcoming Virtual Events
  • Kern National Network Connections Newsletter - November 2020
Editor's Corner
My Dad was a Veteran

by Bruce H. Campbell, MD, FACS

In this Veteran’s Day issue of the Transformational Times, you will meet several people who have offered their time and talents in service of country. Some, in the earliest stages of their careers, share their motivations; others, who have retired, offer their reflections. All have taken the oath, just as my father once did, to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Like our newsletter contributors today, my father (pictured here) inspired me.

My dad was a veteran. He spent over three years on a light cruiser, the USS Santa Fe CL-60, during World War II. His ship earned thirteen battle stars, seeing action from the Aleutians to the Philippines. I have no idea what that experience was like.
Guest Director's Corner
Learning to Care for Those in Harm’s Way – Educational Innovations from The Uniformed Services University School of Medicine
by Louis Pangaro, MD, MACP
For this week’s special Veteran’s Day issue Director’s Corner, Dr. Kalet invited Dr. Louis Pangaro, interim dean of the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine and medical education scholar to describe “America’s medical school” and its lessons for us all …

It is my privilege to comment on the contributions of the Uniform Services University School of Medicine to advance in how we educate doctors. Our school is directly funded by the federal government to produce physicians who will serve the country in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, or Public Health Service. This notion of service is implicit in our school’s motto, “Learning to care for those in harm’s way.”
The Impact of Military Service on a Clinician-Educator’s Career: A Personal Story

by Eric Holmboe, MD - ACGME Chief Research, Milestone Development, and Evaluation Officer and member of the Kern Institute External Advisory Committee

Dr. Holmboe, a Navy veteran and distinguished educational researcher, reflects on how his experiences as a military physician shaped his career and perspectives on the value of sacrifice and service …

My time in the U.S. Navy has had a profound impact on my career, both through enriching and challenging times. However, the collective and cumulative experience left its mark in ways I did not expect when I entered the Navy through the health professions scholarship program (HPSP) after graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1981. I am the first the admit I joined for financial reasons to pay for medical school at the University of Rochester.
Veteran’s Day Reflection

by Kenneth Lee, MD – Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Lee, a retired Army Colonel, shares his perspective on how we all learn to serve our military veterans …

“Thank you for taking care of my patients.” These words meant something to me when I addressed nurses, therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, and many other disciplines at the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), especially when Veteran’s Day came around.

 But now, I no longer say these words. Why? Let’s see...
On a Pale Horse – Veterans, Values, and Viruses

by Tej Ishaan Mehta MD – MCW Department of Medicine Resident

Dr. Mehta shares a reflection on how our nation’s current struggle to overcome COVID-19 must parallel the resolve that returning WWI veterans brought to facing the 2018 H1N1 Pandemic …

One-hundred years ago, in cities and towns across this great nation, people gathered to honor the veterans of the greatest conflict witnessed to date, World War I, the so-called “Great War.” On Armistice Day 1920, Americans from sea to shining sea gave thanks and recognition to veterans of The Great War. Named for the eleventh-hour armistice signed between World War I allies and Germany, Armistice Day marked the end of World War I hostilities. In time, Armistice Day would become Veterans Day, a day to observe the deeds of veterans from all wars, living and dead. In celebrating Veterans Day, we celebrate the best of American values; we celebrate perseverance against impossible odds, love of country and a willingness to sacrifice for others, always in the pursuit of truth and the triumph of good over evil.
Student Perspective/Opinion
My Journey to Becoming an Army Doctor

by Nicholas Krueger, MCW-Milwaukee medical student and Second Lieutenant in the US Army

Mr. Krueger reflects on how being part of the military has influenced his view of his medical career …
As a young kid growing up in a household with no military experience, with no access to firearms or anything of the like, I strangely always wanted to be a US Army soldier. Maybe it was the video games, maybe it was the stories I heard from Adam’s cousin who worked within the special forces community during a still very prominent post-9/11 era. Whatever the reason, it was most certainly superficial with a sprinkle of the sense of “duty.” Well, being from an extended family where military service was non-existent and joining was synonymous with danger and death, I was forbade from pursuing that path. Although my motives changed, I never lost that yearning for service.
Student Perspective/Opinion
Veteran’s Day Reflections as a Service Member and Medical Student

by Corey McKenzie – MCW-Milwaukee medical student and Ensign in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy

Mr. McKenzie reminds us of the sacrifice and the commitment to service expected by service members. He also points out the parallels between military and medical service ...

Many emotions and thoughts flood my conscience when I think about Veterans Day. Why? I am a service member; I have many service members (retired and still serving) in my immediate social circle and family. I know veterans who never made it home. I know veterans who made it home, only to meet their maker while fighting the continued conflict in their mind.
In the Service of Fellow Veterans
Jeffrey L. Jackson, MD, MPH 

Dr. Jackson shares his insight about being a retired Army officer and serving veterans at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee ...

  1. Some people have observed that there is an esprit de corps within the VA, especially between the patients. How do you explain that?
  2. What is the best advice you could give to students and residents who provide care for veterans? What key insights could make their care for veterans better?
  3. Tell us about a moment during your service in the Army that you are most proud of (or that contributed to your development as a caring physician)?

This week, in anticipation of Veteran’s Day, we wanted to share Dr. John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields. This poem was submitted by Dr. Bruce Campbell.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. He is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem "In Flanders Fields." McCrae died of pneumonia near the end of the war.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, MD (1872 - 1918)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

Know someone who writes poetry? Write poems yourself?
Have a favorite poem you’d like to share? Send your submissions to and

He's sensitive like me.

-Claire Lockley, M2 Medical Student

They love me no matter what kind of day I've had!

-Laura Grogan, M2 Medical Student

She's cuddly!

-Na Xiong, M1 Medical Student
I have two sassy, yet wonderful boys. Both of which I "foster-failed," Harley is 2 and Wyatt is going on 8 months. While they can be stinkers they truly offer unconditional love. If I sneeze or cough they are up instantly to the rescue. The excitement they show when I walk in the door, whether it has been 10 minutes or 8 hours, is pure joy.

Being rescue dogs, I have no clue what their life was like before they came into mine. They both had serious anxiety and to see them turn into such good dogs has been a great experience.

There really isn't anything I don't love about these two, even if they just got done chewing a pair of my shoes!

-Angela Parish, Staff

My new cat, Charley Rose, offers me comfort and an opportunity to provide her with protection. She has a wonderful energy that lights up our home, a much-needed presence during this demanding time.

She has become a member of our family so quickly, it clearly is a sign of hope. We love her.

-Richard Holloway, Emeritus Professor and Associate Dean Emeritus

My cat reminds me to take a break and be chill sometimes!

-Tammy Hosch, Staff
My dad, an only child with a single mom who worked two jobs, spent a lot of time alone as a kid. He desperately wished he had a furry companion to greet him when he came home and help him feel less lonely. So, when my daughter was 6 and her destiny to be an only child was sealed, we got a puppy.

Her name was Eloise, which isn't a surprise when you let a 6 yr old who loves to read name a puppy. Eloise was the perfect furry sibling from day one! A constant, faithful, lazy, loving companion who thought she was human, I'm convinced.

She loved being loved and she never complained. Eloise lived for 14 years, having died this past August. Her final hours were spent in the loving arms of her sister.

-Kris Tym, Staff
So despite being pretty darn cute, what I love most about both of my dogs is their keen intuition. Captured in this picture, their incredible attentiveness and ability to sense the needs of their human family is truly remarkable.

Whether it be due to the stress of the pandemic, a simple 'bad day,' illness or celebration, they are ready to fully participate! I can't imagine my life without their company.

Thank you, Peach and Teddy, for all you bring to our family.

-Wendy Peltier, Faculty

I love that Pepe is larger than the average cat. Even though I cannot pick him up, he is great at cuddling next to me. Petting his soft neck makes my day. I have enjoyed being with him more since I am working remotely. It's true, all cats do is eat and sleep - and Pepe has perfected both!!

-Kate Thompson, Staff

Respond to next week's reflection prompt:

What has been the best part of your day today?
Kern Institute Announces New Request for Proposals
LOI Due December 23, 2020

The Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin is pleased to release this request for proposals to build Medical Education Transformation Collaboratories, cross-institutional, multi- and inter-disciplinary, multiple stakeholder communities of practice that work together in a sustained effort around a shared project to transform medical education by engaging in both innovation and scholarship.
We seek submission from teams of 3 to 5 individuals who will devote compensated time to build a community of practice around medical education transformation. These collaboratories will serve as incubators for the creation of generalizable knowledge as we move rapidly into a new era of medical education. Eligible groups must include at least one member employed at an LCME-accredited medical school, with other members currently affiliated with institutions or organizations with a stake in health and healthcare. Please click the link to view the RFP.
Participate in the MCW Common Read!

We are extremely moved by the overwhelming interest shown in this year’s Common Read program, featuring How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. It is a true testament to your devotion to racial equity and determination to make the MCW community a safer and more inclusive place for all.

We understand that many of you are eager to get involved, so we have outlined some ways that you can participate via the link below.
Kern Connection Cafe Discussion

LGBTQ Care: How National Decisions Affect Local Care

Please join us for a virtual Connections Cafe with Andrew Petroll, MD, MS, Medical Director of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Inclusion Health Clinic and Jessica Francis, MD, OB/GYN, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

As our medical system continues to be tested by the current pandemic and resource shortages, we must stay vigilant in providing care to our marginalized populations. Changes we see at a national level affect our ability to provide care at a local level. As we continue to evolve through these challenging times, we will discuss how we can provide optimal care under suboptimal circumstances. 
November 12, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT
Dan Hunt MD
Kern Grand Rounds Presentation

Creating Physicians Where a Medical School Should Not Exist

Please join us for a virtual Grand Rounds presentation with Dan Hunt, MD, MBA, Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) field secretary and Secretary Emeritus.

In this time of so many moving parts in medical education, be they the changes in USMLE scoring or increased on-line learning, we must ask ourselves how we can use these situations to maximize our graduates’ skills and likelihood of addressing society’s health care inequities. Having been on both sides of the table, both defending a school's innovative curriculum to the LCME and then later being the LCME reviewer for many, if not most, of the new schools across the US and Canada, there are lessons to be shared on how to let the LCME standards guide rather than obstruct creativity.
November 18, 2020
Live Virtual Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT
The Kern National Network
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MCW COVID-19 Resource Center
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