Celebrating the Art, Poetry, and Prose of Yale Health Profession Students

 Celebrating the Art, Poetry, and Prose of Yale Health Profession Students


A virtual celebration of poetry, prose, and art, hosted by Yale MD, physician assistant (PA) online, with physician, nursing, and public health students, took place on May 5, at the annual Program for in Humanities in Medicine (PHM) Students in Health Professions ’Creative Medical Writing & Art Contest. One hundred and thirty students submitted entries, almost double the number last year. With “so many beautiful unique pieces,” Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director, Traditional Internal Medicine Residency Cynthia Frary McNamara, MD, said choosing the winners was even more difficult. McNamara serves as interim director of PHM.

Medicine is a theme in most of the award -winning works, with students reflecting on the professionalism experience of health students, patients, or a patient’s loved one.

Anna Vignola, MMSc, ​​a graduating student in the PA Online Program, explained that her rotation to a geriatrician inspired her first place poem, as the sun sets behind our fig tree. Many of the patients who associated with Vignola were accompanied by long-term partners. In a moment of clarity, he realized how much people express through behavior, and how little in words. In a fitting short poem, he describes his behavior expressing his emotions.

as the sun sets behind our fig tree

I’m grateful
for two small bodies asleep
tupad nako
and for being on the couch
to whom, for a moment,
I will bring the last fig
in time
to apologize
for the use of hot water
and sometimes
left the kitchen window open
for me to think of him
as he shuffled in sleep

The authors of the submissions tied in the first place in prose reflect on the clinical rotations of their pieces. The rise of fourth -year MD student Isaiah Thomas writes The End of Days a few months after his rotation in child psychiatry. “I know that my piece-based patient interactions are very emotional and meaningful for me,” Thomas said. “But writing about the experience requires me to put into words what the impact really is,” and “it also forces me to think about the universal aspects of the experience and how it can be meaningful to others.”

In the introduction The Judge, seventh -year MD/PhD student Adriana Cherskov shared that it was based on her experience starting her internal medicine rotation a few years ago. It centered on a patient — a judge — who was considered arrogant, because he insisted on being called as a judge. When Cherskov first saw him, the judge’s wife pushed a chair toward him, which Cherskov initially refused. The judge told Cherskov that his sitting in a chair comforted him, explaining that when medical teams flew over him wearing white robes referring to him as a third person, it hurt him. . Cherskov realized that the judge was not trying to be treated better than others when he insisted on being called a judge, he was just trying to maintain his recognition and dignity, despite his illness — a lesson that affected whether how he involved all the patients.

In many works of art, students are the loved ones of the patients or, in themselves, the patient. For example, in Lover of Long Covid, who received second place in poetry, Aaron Phillips, a Class of 2023 PA Online student, beautifully expressed his emotions in the face of his girlfriend who has been disabled for two years due to Long COVID. (Philips, who said he didn’t learn how to draw until his didactic year, also received an art award for his painting. holding.) Another Class of 2023 PA Online student, Christina Ruiz, who tied for third place in poetry, explained that she writes My Choice from personal experience and hopes to reduce the stigma of abortion through it. His poem ends with, “Now I am not a student; I am the patient. A patient with options. ”

A theme reflected in many works is the struggle to absorb everything taught in health professional programs. Alex Hauptli, a Class of 2022 Physician Associate Program student, did drowning– where he received a distinguished mention of art – during his didactic year. Pointing to the image of a man struggling to stay afloat in a sea of ​​medical terms, he explained “it could be anyone studying medicine, and I’m always introducing the subject.” He added, “I feel like I’ve finally learned how to swim.”

Third-year MD student Erika Chang-Sing wrote her poem Small Node, which received noble acclaim, as he began to study Medical Boards. Describing the need to re-study everything he had forgotten, he compares himself to a piece of the trunk of a plant without roots or leaves, and, in this quote, to a cut from a plant with leaves, but its roots must grow again.

They sit in the water, trying to grow roots.
I think they were asking themselves
Am I not the one doing this?

Meanwhile, I was studying for my board exam and asking myself questions
Haven’t I already learned this?
Shouldn’t I already know this?
Part of me wants to believe I don’t
Because I don’t.

I was afraid of how deeply I would forget.
As quick and perfect as a pair of scissors
I remember embryology the same way my plants remember their old roots.
These things used to be ours
They can’t help us now.
We all have to start all over again.

Many students expressed how the arts can help them in their professional health studies. For example, first -year MD student Grace Wang, whose painting Changed over time received honorable mention, saying that making a watercolor sketch while hiking “inspired me to observe with patience and marvel not only at the beauty of nature, but also at the activity involved in the relationships between entities, and the stories hidden in the spaces in between. ” Wang found it especially valuable in medical school “because it helped me slow down and learn to be a better observer.” Drawing also helps Wang feel centered and be at his best as he learns how to care for others.

“Art and literature provide a complex understanding of the human experience, which is essential to providing empathetic care,” says first-year student at the School of Nursing Zeynep Inanoglu. In addition, she explains, spending time reading, painting, writing, and consuming art remained strong during her first year of nursing school. In his honorable mention painting, Mom and I, she aims to “capture the gentleness and adventure of new parenting” through the eyes of her parents. Inanoglu explained that she was able to continue her passion and become a nurse because of the dedication and perseverance of her parents, who made great sacrifices for their children to succeed.

The active “chat” during the event showed great gratitude for the creative health professional school community, as did the statements of the prize winners. For example, in saying that this is his last time to participate in the competition, Vignola said, “what an honor to be a part of this competition and community of writers.”

McNamara equally expressed gratitude for everyone who participated in the competition, as well as PHM Program Manager Karen P. Kolb, MFA, for coordinate it, and the judges: Aba Black, Terry Dagradi, Rosana Gonzalez-Colaso, Melissa Grafe, Lorence Gutterman, Randi Hutter-Epstein, Elizabeth Marhoffer, Kenneth Morford, Sharon Ostfeld-Johns, Muffy Pendergast, Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, Rita Rienzo, Lisa Sanders, Nora Segar, Susan Wheeler, and Joanne Wilcox.

Marguerite Rush-Lerner awards are given to MD students. PHM funded other prizes.



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