University of Michigan Medical School: Medical Humanities Path of Excellence


I’ve realized over the course of medical
school that doing just school and just medicine isn’t enough to make me feel
like my best self or a whole person being creative being in nature looking
at art doing all those things that I love to do it’s the way that I feed
myself the paths of excellence at Michigan are these optional
co-curricular pathways that you can choose so it’s not mandatory it’s not
required but it allows you to kind of within the curriculum explore things
that really interest you and gives you the resources to do that
I chose the medical humanities pathway it was because I have this background in
humanities I double majored when I was in college and I one of my majors was
English that was what drew me to the pathway at first but I think the other
part of it was that I knew that you could you had to do this capstone
project at the end of the pathway and I had shadowed at Planned Parenthood at
this point and I knew that the project that I wanted to work on was write a
play about a topic that nobody likes to talk about and that is abortion I
initially wanted to work on this play because I didn’t know how I felt after I
was at Planned Parenthood for a day I was very confused and was struggling a
lot with all of the feelings and thoughts and everything that came up for
me when I was there what I was seeking was just a way to kind of articulate
those feelings at the same time I was acutely aware of how not knowledgeable I
was about abortion care about the laws surrounding abortion about the history
of abortion in this country and so that’s what led me to do a research
month first with my advisor Dr. Markel I was making the curriculum work for me
which is how I like to talk about the pathways in general at Michigan and I
was like okay this will align with my interest this is a way that I can get
credit for doing this work so I’ve never written a play before and I just kind of
rolled with it I just tried to tell the story that I wanted to tell but I just
had this feeling when I was at Planned Parenthood I was
like I just need to show people this it’s not enough for me to write about it
it’s truly something that I just feel like I needed a visual way of conveying
the experience it’s tackling themes and ideas that are
very important to me I’ve realized motherhood and making truly difficult
decisions that impact more than just you and a lot of people around you you can
never know what it’s like to be another person but the closest approximation is
experiencing their work and that’s what I love about the humanities and that’s
what I was trying to do with this project in the first place I don’t think
I’m thinking about how many people this play’s gonna reach but I am thinking
about what is a way in which I can with my specific skill set and my knowledge
help people see something about medicine differently the Medical Humanities
pathway truly I would not have been able to embark on this project without it
having the ability and the opportunity to be able to explore that part of me
and to continue to keep something that I cherished so deeply a part of my
everyday life and learning how to try and integrate it with my work and the
things that I’ve learned and work in all of my patients I think that is what is
gonna prepare me for residency and trying to balance those things that I
love patient care but also these other parts of me like the humanities I think
that’s what the pathway has really done for me

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