Super Star Blogs!

Get a Mentor!

Have you ever wondered where the term mentor comes from? Allow me to share. In the epic tale, The Odyssey, our hero, Odysseus, has to go on a long journey. Prior to leaving, he realizes he has a minor challenge. Odysseus has a son whom he’ll need to leave behind. His solution to this problem is to ask his friend named, Mentor, to watch his child and raise him up into a man. When you consider that story, it becomes obvious how significant the role of a mentor really is.

Mentors can be real game changers. When you get the right one, your odds of success increase significantly. These individuals can save you from unnecessary stress and turmoil. Vicariously, you can avoid the obstacles and pitfalls they faced. Personally, I’ve had a few key people in my life who I credit with helping me make huge advances towards achieving my goals. Simply put, mentors are essential!

Appreciating the value of mentorship, we’re excited to invite you to the Mentoring Center. We’ve built an automated system that will facilitate the mentorship relationship. The truth of the matter is that nobody becomes successful on their own. We all need help. So, to the students, GET A MENTOR! To the healthcare professionals and professional students (e.g. medical students), please register to mentor and help develop the next generation.

Our mentoring center allows students to identify individuals who they’d like to receive mentoring from. When a student identifies that person, they can click on their profile page then on the “request mentor” button. After that, the student should answer 3 brief questions. The reason we ask the students to answer these questions is so the mentor can be confident that the mentee will value his or her time. If a student is not willing to answer 3 simple questions, they likely will not be a responsive mentee.

After a mentor agrees to take on the student, monthly messages will be sent to both individuals to provide topics of discussion. Our goal is to make the mentoring process easier for everyone. 

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Holli

In March 2019, I accepted a scribing position with AQuity and have not looked back! When I came on board with this company, I completed the training that is required by all scribes and felt it was geniunely beneficial. The Scribe Academy is the first stop of many in virtual scribing, and it gives you a foundation of what to expect.

Immediately following the Scribe Academy, I was placed in Team Training and watched a fellow veteran scribe and his provider. Intitally when I sat with them and watched their work flow, I was intimidated. However, I quickly learned that AQuity is a team/family. Everyone is willing and able to help new scribes succeed. I also learned that, much like healthcare, scribing is not one-size-fits-all!

I have been very fortunate to be assigned three amazing, supportive, caring, and dedicated doctors. I currently work with Dr. Golden (Infectious Disease), Dr. Masoud (Digestive Diseases) and Dr. Navaratnam (Neurology). The amount of information I’ve gained from working with these amazing providers is not something that can be simplified into words. They have allowed me to learn about specialties that I previously had no knowledge of but was very interested in. In addition, I have covered for their peers when they are out of the office.

Daily duties remain relatively the same for each provider. In the morning, before my provider signs on to Fluency for Scribes (FFS), I start my daily precharting. I know some scribes do not do this, but I believe it is more time efficient and allows the scribe to become more familiar with their work flow and their patients prior to their arrival. My providers are very thorough with information that they like to have in each of their notes, including imaging, labs, and discharge summaries from hospital encounters. Precharting allows me to capture the pertinent information and include it chronologically in my note.

After precharting is completed, my provider is usually ready to begin their day. We start that day with normal greetings and specific information that they may have regarding each patient that I may not be privy to or pertinent information that may be critical to their visit that we ordinarily would not put into the note. Example: Another doctor calls and gives them a verbal report on a patient.

My doctors then take their Heart Phones (Yale issued phones) into the room with them and introduce me and the patient. The majority of the time, patients are blown away that there is actually someone on the phone and it’s not just a recording!

The doctors start with the HPI and ROS. My providers like for me to pull the HPI from their previous encounter and copy it into the current HPI while making encounter-specific adjustments. At this point, the doctor will also discuss lab/imaging results. After completing the HPI and ROS, they will review medications/surgical history/new diagnosis with the patients. This gives me a moment to do some fine tuning on the HPI. Once the medication list has been completed, the doctor will start the PE. The PE results are called out to me (or in one provider’s case given to me directly after the exam is complete). We utulize smart phrases and macros (don’t worry…Epic training shows you how to make and use these!) which are great time savers!!

Finally, we wrap up the appointment with the A/P. My assessments are limited to the first phrase entered into the HPI. The plan is then detailed out. Each of my providers are different in their plans. One doctor likes the plan in paragraph form and the other two like it in bullet format.

As always, I put the scribe attestation into place and VOILA! The encounter is complete.

Are there days where you don’t catch information? Or you don’t understand what happened during the visit? Yes. Of course! But the fantastic thing is you are a real person working real time with a provider! You have the oppurtunity and responsibilty to clarify any information. The best part is all the providers I have worked for WELCOME QUESTIONS.

Some providers are more specific or require you to input more information. However, you can rest assured that you will be given a “preference sheet” that is like your work Bible. Everything you need to know about your provider is laid out on this sheet and your support team is always available (performance coaches, team leads, supervisors, and peers.)

Holli lives in the Midwest and scribes for 3 doctors in the Yale New Haven Health system. 

5 Things You Must Accomplish this School Year

Welcome to a new school year. I’m hoping you are pumped! The goal is to take full advantage of this year and make it the best one so far. If you are a freshman in college, a first year medical student or an intern the first few weeks can be challenging adapting to a new environment and learning system. It is critical that you get off to a good start. Things are quite a bit different from when I trained but the same key principles to achieve success remain. These are my tips for the school year.

1. Set Goals

Please, please, please sit down and set your goals. Too many students miss very important deadlines and miss major opportunities simply because of poor planning and failing to set goals. Make a list including these things:

• GPA you aim to achieve (It better be a 4.0)

• Classes you plan on taking

• Organizations you will join and take leadership in

• Important calendar dates (including conferences you will attend, MCAT date, letter of rec request date)

• Dates you will reach out to your mentor

Diverse Medicine has a nice application year timeline available listing important dates. Feel free to message me if you are unable to find this.

2. Gain Meaningful Knowledge

This should be obvious but I really want you to think about this one. Rote memorization has a purpose but I can’t stress the importance of digesting the material you are learning. This of course is more important the higher up the ladder you go. So many of us take classes with a mentality of “I just need to pass or get by” but I challenge you to dive a little deeper. Information is gold and you never know when it will come up again. As a medical doctor, people expect you to have a strong knowledge base. Every day I encounter patients from all walks of like and I am able to establish a stronger relationship with them when I am knowledgeable about their environment, job, or any other subject they bring up. That economics class, Spanish class, art class will most likely be used at some point in your career. Understand what your teacher is teaching.

3. Find a Way to Diversify Yourself

The perfect 4.0 student with excellent MCAT scores may look good on paper but may be a horrible doctor if they are not diverse. Diversity is not only your race/ethnicity or gender but more any unique attributes and experiences you have to offer. Don’t get sucked into the premed and med school rat race trying to keep up with your peers. Think outside the box and experience life. As Dr. Dale would say, “I didn’t even know there was a box.” Do something unique that piques your interest and find a way it may relate to medicine. Believe me, everything can be connected to medicine. Diversifying yourself gives you that special niche. To this day, I still remember a student interviewing with me for medical school who was a circus performer. He easily stole the show.

4. Keep Track

Y’all are doing some amazing things. Every time a student communicates with me I am amazed by the types of things he or she is doing. Make sure you are keeping track. I am sure those applying or those who already applied to medical school can attest to the fact that it is tough filling your application and having to recollect what you did back during you freshman year of college. The earlier you start this, the less it will hurt. I always advise premeds to keep their Diverse Medicine profiles up to date so it will make applying much easier and you never know if a medical school is watching. Don’t forget to use your profile link in your email signature.

5. Find A Mentor

You can never give solid advice without recommending (1) goal setting and (2) finding solid mentorship. This was an area I struggled with as a shy premed student with little guidance. I had no clue how approachable most doctors actually were. A good mentor can open many doors for you. A mentor does not have to look like you or come from the same place you do but they should have traversed the path successfully and be were you want to be. It is best to have a few advisers but not too many that you get confused. I recommend finding mentors with these traits.

1. Someone who is passionate about helping and wants to give back.

2. Someone who recently successfully accomplished what you are aiming for.

3. Someone who is seasoned and has a lot of connections.

4. Someone who is okay with saying they don’t know the answer but are willing to direct you to someone who may know.

Most mentors will be extremely busy so you will need to be understanding and respectful of their time. Take cue from them and routinely check in with him or her.

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Taylor

I scribe for two providers, so I have two very different types of days in my life as a scribe!

On Mondays and Fridays, I scribe for Dr. Persing, who is Yale’s Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is doubly board certified in both plastic surgery and neurosurgery, and he sees a mix of adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Persing usually begins at 8:15, so I log on shortly before then. I do not pre-chart for Dr. Persing, as his notes are relatively focused and technical. He signs his notes as we go throughout the day, so in the morning we jump right into seeing patients.

Monday is his craniofacial clinic, so I am able to observe many fascinating cases, often involving babies and young children with congenital anomalies of the head and face. He also sees a significant number of transgender patients, especially for facial feminization surgery consults and followups. In addition to a myriad of other fascinating cases, he also sees patients for typical cosmetic surgery procedures. Because of this, my days are quite varied and never boring.

After each visit, Dr. Persing will go over the physical exam findings with me and answer any questions I may have about the note. We are in constant communication, which is key! Dr. Persing works with a PA and at least one resident every clinic day and goes into the exam room to speak with each patient the resident has seen. Because of this, we have to communicate very clearly about which encounters I will document and which encounters will be documented by the PA or resident so that no patient chart gets overlooked or is incomplete. The moments when he is in the room with a resident’s patient are perfect moments to finish up any of my incomplete notes and to make sure they are polished!

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I scribe for Dr. Frumberg, an adult and pediatric orthopedic surgeon and director of the Cerebral Palsy Lifespan Program at Yale. His cases are equally as fascinating, as he sees many children with cerebral palsy and other congenital conditions that affect their limbs. Once again, in the morning we jump straight into seeing patients. His notes can be quite complex, and I rely heavily on his many, many smart phrases and templates.

Before the visit, we go over x-ray results, and he will occasionally present a brief summary of the patient to be documented in the chart. During the visits, it is crucial to keep up with his pace and remain completely focused, as his physical exams are quite complex and involve many measurements that need to be documented perfectly accurately. After the visit, we review any information in the note that was missing or unclear. Just as with Dr. Persing, I am in constant communication with Dr. Frumberg.

I have been able to build a rapport with both physicians that I work with, which makes the job much more enjoyable and facilitates clear communication for accurate documentation.

Taylor lives in Minnesota and currently scribes for 2 different providers at Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut. 

Medical Record Sharing for the Scribe

By Anne Bean, Scribe Training Administrator for AQuity Solutions

(Reprinted from the September 2019 issue of Vital Signs, AQuity’s monthly newsletter for the Scribing Division.)

There seem to be competing interests in the world of healthcare information management. How can healthcare information be shared freely while keeping it out of the wrong hands? On one hand, there are HIPAA laws requiring protection of private health information and easy access to that information by patients. On the other hand, there is the ever-increasing need to share medical information across platforms (interoperability) to assist providers in caring for patients with more continuity and less unnecessary testing. On the third hand (is there such a thing?), there is the always-growing threat of cybercriminal activity and we are constantly being warned about cybersecurity. Let’s talk about interoperability this month.

What is interoperability, why do we need it, and why is it so hard to accomplish? Simply stated, interoperability is the ease with which medical information can be shared. When you just had a CBC and CMP through your PCP 3 weeks ago, it would be nice if your hematologist could have access to it so they don’t order another one for you. If you had an MRI or CT scan done in the ER, it would be nice if your PCP could see the results of it when you follow up in their office. If you’re a provider treating a patient for a CVA, you’d like to see the head CT that was performed on your patient 3 years ago for comparison to the current imaging. It seems so simple, right? Well, it isn’t.

Why is information sharing so difficult? Several studies have revealed that barriers to interoperability include a lack of shared usability between different platforms, a lack of standards to create across-the-board consistency, the high costs of developing and optimizing health technology, a lack of trust between various interests regarding how proprietary information will be handled, and outdated administrative and documentation requirements.

Under the current US administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have been extremely proactive regarding HIPAA, interoperability, and cybersecurity. (To be clear, the CMS involves more than just Medicare and Medicaid.) To that end, the current CMS administrator, Seema Varma, has given a personal testimonial to the need for being able to share information across platforms. She describes an episode during which her husband experienced a medical emergency while in an airport and underwent a multitude of tests, procedures, and a week-long hospital stay away from his home city. Upon discharge, he was offered a Discharge Summary and a CD-ROM to take back to his home doctors. Verma states, “After the federal government has spent more than #30 billion on EHRs…I left with paper and a CD-ROM. Most computers don’t even take CD-ROMs anymore. At a time when we are sending Teslas to Mars, patients are receiving health records on forms that are completely outdated.”

How does this affect medical scribes? For one thing, we can easily see how information comes in different formats when we consider all the different EHR platforms there are, each company with its own proprietary way of preserving records. We are sometimes called up on to work through 3rd party applications in order to make our scribing technology work with a facility’s EHR. M*Modal’s technology division (from which AQuity Solutions has been spun off) has done a great job of making its signature products operable within many different systems, but we can still occasionally encounter some of the glitches that come with sharing across platforms. Staying informed about the need for interoperability gives us insight into the various technologies we encounter as we do our work.

Stay tuned! Next month we’ll talk about the seemingly conflicting goals of easy record sharing compared to keeping medical records secure. 

A Day in the Life of an AQuity Scribe – Kaitlyn

I have the pleasure of working for Dr. Susan Sykas at Appleseed Pediatrics.

A normal day starts off around 8:00 AM. Dr. Sykas joins me in FFS and we talk about how our weekend/night went. Lori, her RN, will come in once she has the first patient roomed and talk with us about what she observed. Dr. Sykas and I then go in to start seeing patients. We usually have patients scheduled every 30 minutes. Since we treat from newborn to adult, it does take longer in each visit than normal due to kids asking so many questions.

When in the room with the patient, I focus on gathering information for the HPI, ROS, PE, and preventive medication module. Dr. Sykas is still new to having a scribe and still does her own assessment and plan and all orders. Each site is different, though, as to what you will need to chart. I have filled in for other providers who want me to do everything in their chart.

When we do not have a patient to see, Dr. Sykas and I talk about our lives and just get to know each other better. I think it is very important to talk with your doctor on a personal level, because it helps establish a trust and a flow. She will also look over the chart and let me know if there is anything she wants changed.

We usually end our day around 4:30.

I believe that the key to being a great scribe is keeping open communication with your provider. If you do not understand something or you miss something, ask your provider.

Another important thing about AQuity is we are all friends. Your team lead and performance coach are your bosses, but also your friends, so if you need something, reach out. If you are ever stressed out or something is going wrong, let them know. They will be there to help you with whatever you need. Also keep them informed on how things are going, if your provider is going to be out, or if you or your provider have questions you don’t know the answer to. I talk with both my team lead and performance coach daily even if it’s just a quick, “ Good morning. Hope you have a good day.”

Steps to SUCCESS: See your goal, Understand the obstacles, Create a positive mental picture, Clear your mind of self-doubt, Embrace the challenge, Stay on track, Show the world you can do it!

(Kaitlyn lives in Tennessee and scribes for Dr. Sykas in Vermont.)

7 Skills Needed for Scribing – Or Any Career

(Reprinted from the August 2019 edition of Vital Signs, AQuity Solutions monthly scribing division newsletter.) 

1. Confidence

Do you apologize when you ask someone to clarify a point? Or when you need a piece of information repeated because you missed it? Are you hesitant to state an opinion? Confident people understand that other people may have the same questions they do and that everyone’s opinions matter. They also understand that the provider is also interested in chart accuracy and is often willing to help.

2. Collaboration

In the workplace, you should understand whose jobs are affected by your decisions and whose decisions affect your job. This helps you know what to expect of people and helps others build trust in you to do the things you agree to do. Interacting well with providers and coworkers will always help advance your career.

3. Communication

You need to be capable of expressing your expectations and responding to others’ expectations with confidence (See #1). Courtesy and professionalism are always important in your communication.

4. Systems thinking/critical thinking

You should base your decisions and actions on your knowledge of how the system you’re working in is set up. Knowing where your decisions fall in the overall system helps you weigh your options and determine the best course of action. According to AQuity scribe Blake Cline, “Critical thinking is crucial for success in any career, and especially medical scribing. It is typically used for problem solving or forming a judgment with given facts, and both of these scenarios occur often in most careers.”

5. Creative innovation

Try to think of multiple potential solutions for whatever situation you’re addressing rather than focusing on just one. Forcing yourself to explore what would happen if your “favorite” option weren’t available helps foster new ideas that may be worth pursuing. Creativity as a scribe can be demonstrated by innovative ways of working through technical or other difficulties.

6. Specialty content knowledge

Some might say this is the first and most obvious requirement for your job, but until you have honed your other skills, no one really cares how much you know. On the other hand, the other skills can be moot points if you don’t know your stuff!

(Anne Bean is the Scribe Training Administrator and Diverse Medicine liason for AQuity Solutions Scribing Division.)

Have a Positive Attitude

Somebody needs to hear this today! This is your year to succeed! As school resumes, many of you are nervous about your course load. For others, you have new leadership positions and are worried if you’ll be able to execute at the level of your office. Others are sweating bullets because you’ve just submitted your medical school applications and are waiting for interviews. Here’s my advice, instead of worrying, take on a positive attitude. Believe you’re going to completely demolish your challenges this year.

Earl Nightengale was one of the world’s most notable motivational speakers. His message is pretty simple. The secret to success lies in your attitude and your plan. There is a reason why rich people get richer. Have you ever asked yourself how it is that entrepreneurs can go from being filthy rich, to dirt broke, and right back to filthy rich? It’s because they have a success mindset. That’s it…there’s no major secret. They set goals, establish a plan, and maintain a positive attitude.

I believe the number one thing that keeps students from succeeding is lack of confidence. That translates into a poor attitude which in turn leads to poor performance. If you can maintain a positive attitude, you’ll perform at a much higher level.

As the new academic year rolls in, I challenge all of you to have the mindset of a winner. Go into this at full beast mode! Did you hear what I said, FULL BEAST MODE! Get upset at failure. Get ANGRY at mediocrity. BEAST MODE all the way! Like a lion waiting to snatch up its prey, be hungry for success and don’t stop grinding until you get what you’re out for. Whether it’s a high GPA, a solid MCAT score, or med school admission, go at it with a positive attitude.

Congratulations to Jamar! Student of the Week!

1. Tell us about yourself.  Hello, I am graduating from Texas Southern University in Fall 2019 with a B.S in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I am currently working in psychiatry, learning ways to increase awareness of the role mental health plays in our lives, there is a greater acceptance that mental health is of equal importance to physical health. This has enabled patient safety as a discipline to examine previously unexplored areas in mental health.

2. Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you? My favorite professor is my 11th grade English professor Mrs. Reed. I was not interested in high school and only attended school to ditch class to play basketball and hang with my friends. She challenged me not only to be a scholar, but also there’s a future for me rather than to become a norm to my environment. She made learning fun and it commanded my attention to want to be successful in life.

3. When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why? My love for medicine grew like a wildfire after trying to figure out what I honestly wanted to do with my life my sophomore year of college. After my brother passed away from a stroke, my initial why was because I didn’t want anyone else to be failed by this broken system. It has been a year since and why I wanted the help for my younger sibling is what solidified my choice for choosing being a physician. Every day, it’s a gift to have the opportunity to care for patients in their most vulnerable times.

4. What area of medicine are you interested in? Cardiology, Adolescent Medicine, Orthopedic, and Emergency Medicine

5. What’s the coolest experience you’ve had so far on your premedical journey? The coolest experience I’ve had was joining SNMA AMEC conference last year. The amount of support I received from other peers, medical students, residents, professors, etc. was overwhelming! I met so many people and built so many new relationships. Learning more about attending medical school, process of applying, being a student of color, meeting representatives of the universities that looking to attend (claiming it).

6. What is your favorite book? The Power of Habit, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends & Influence People, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Ready Player One.

7. Tell us one thing interesting about you that most people don’t know. I used to have two birth marks, each one in front of my ears. I collect pens and I am a reborn book worm. I am the king at car karaoke and do not know the lyrics to every song.

8. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do? Assuming I would probably be an Information Systems Technician or maybe a counselor at a local high school.

9. What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you (or are you) overcome it? My biggest obstacle as a pre-med student has to be having to overcome the lack of financial/emotional support being an out of state student. I want to say it has been numerous long days/weeks where I would have to work almost every day as a waiter or when I worked at a local warehouse overnight to ensure I can continue having a place to live and also balance time to study for school. I pushed myself everyday by telling myself that this struggle I’m fighting is worth the bigger picture I’m pushing towards.

10. What do you like most about Diverse Medicine? I love that this is not a crab in the bucket environment. Everyone is uplifting and also “paying it forward”! I want to thank everyone is supporting me and uplifting me by positive affirmation. Diverse Medicine has an objective that will be reached and I look forward to joining others help achieve their goal of being a doctor as well.

A Black Man ALMOST in a White Coat

I was the only black male in a class of 200 medical students. Although this was not a daily thought in my head, I was reminded of it quite often. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 604 out of the 21,614 students who matriculated to medical school were black males. That is a whopping 3%. By now, many have also heard the alarming statistics that there were fewer black males in medical school in 2014 than in 1978. With the low numbers of black males in medical school, I know my experiences are echoed around the country by other black male medical students. I thought I’d share with you a few experiences and lessons learned during my medical school journey as a black man almost in a white.

1. The pressure is real

Med school is tough on its own but at times it can feel like the weight of a whole community is on your back. It is as though you are the delegate who will speak on behalf of “the brothers”, show everyone the latest dance moves, and be center stage for the promo photo shoots. You really shouldn’t have to feel this way but in certain situations it is tough not to and it may be necessary to do so at times. There are topics in a lecture for instance that only you can truly identify with or maybe you completely disagree with. Sometimes distasteful remarks are made daring you to speak up. Who else will do it? The pressure to excel can be intensified by black patients and hospital employees who are rooting for you. You feel you can’t let them down. You can’t let your friends, your community, and your family down. I highly recommend finding a mentor that can identify with you. This will help tremendously in dealing with this pressure.  

2. You can’t escape racism

I’ve come to realize that a number of other black male doctors use the same tactics I do while driving. I’m an extremely safe driver but a couple of bad run-ins with the police (see here) have taught me valuable lessons. After being laughed at on three separate occasions by police officers when asked what I do for a living, I now drive either with a white coat hanging on my passenger seat or my hospital ID badge clipped on my shirt. We all judge and have our own biases but society has a way of compartmentalizing us into groups and I would argue that the quickest tool we use to do this is race. I still recall a med school friend asking me if I was scared walking home after midnight by myself after a long day of studying at the library. I told her yes, but not out of fear of being attacked but fear that I could be accused of something I didn’t do. She found this very strange and it really opened my eyes at the different worlds we must live in. The short white coat you wear as a med student is a powerful tool that brings a sense of respect and credibility but as soon as it comes off, it’s back to reality. At times, the white coat failed to protect me like the day I went to a nursing home and was called the N word over and over by a patient stating he doesn’t talk to n—-s. It was just one of those cases you dust off, pray for the guy and keep being the best provider you can be.

I learned quickly after an incident that this coat can serve multiple roles.

3. You must overcome imposter syndrome

I believe most medical students face the imposter syndrome but I suspect it is more prevalent in those who stick out of the crowd the most. This may be because you have a disability, come from a small school, have an accent, or look different from others. It is hard not to doubt your abilities and question the reason why you were accepted or received a reward. Sometimes, others around you make comments making matters worse. Society has a way of tapping you on the shoulders and telling you you do not fit in here. Check out my previous blog on imposter syndrome and how to defeat it.

4. Be a unique advocate

As a medical student, your clinical years will bring up a lot of ethical dilemmas. There may be situations where you notice a patient being mistreated or neglected due to his or her race, ethnicity, or gender. There also may be times were there is a cultural barrier you might be able to step in and educate the medical team on. I recall during my rotations as a third year student when I basically had to interpret for a patient. Mind you, I am monolingual. I somehow found myself interpreting for a black gentleman who spoke Ebonics and our resident who was an Indian woman with a thick accent. It irked me watching their first encounter and listening to the resident present his story inaccurately so the next day I stepped in. This in itself exemplifies the beauty of diversity in the healthcare field. We can all advocate for those who we relate with.

5. Learn, learn, learn

There is so much knowledge to soak in as a medical student. You are there to learn about the art of healing but at the same time so many life lessons are gathered on the journey. You will learn how to operate in an environment that you are not accustomed to. As a minority student working hard to impress the attending physician you often learn to code switch. There are general conversations your peers have that you may not be accustomed to having but in order to assimilate and not look disinterested, you join in. Your choices will be to either isolate yourself or learn to appreciate the different perspectives and embrace them wholeheartedly. I believe the learning any minority experiences will be unique from the majority population and it is important that we hear all voices in order to optimize the medical training experience and healthcare as a whole.

Medical school was challenging, yet it was an amazing and rewarding experience. My training has allowed me to become an excellent physician while my experience as the only black male in a class of 200 taught me resilience, confidence, cultural competence, advocacy, and purpose. I can easily say that I am a better physician through this experience and I hope it shows in the care I provide for my patients.


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