Florida State University
College of Medicine
1115 West Call Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
through Arts and
Volume 1, Issue 1 Summer 2009
Reflections in Paint
Jared Rich, Class of 2012
What better place to start than at the beginning. through us. There is an exchange that occurs between ca‐
Inside this issue:
The first step in our long path to becoming doctors daver and student. Through death they willingly extended
Reflection in Paint 1 is Gross Anatomy. out to hand us the gift of life,
It is our first class and we reached out to gra‐
Jared Rich in medical school, ciously accept. They have
and the cadavers passed on to us the founda‐
Golden Globes 1 that we dissect tion of our education, and for
Jordan Rogers are often called this we are forever grateful.
our first patients. This exchange of knowledge
Portrait of War 2 They are also begins in the anatomy lab, but
called our silent continues on throughout the
Josh Counihan teachers. We entire medical school experi‐
learned more ence. It lives in every class‐
First Patient 2 from them than room, study hall, and library.
Allison Poimboeuf any professor’s This is the place where death
lecture or any delights to help the living,
Oh the Places... 3 picture in a text‐ and it is our responsibility and
book could ever our honor to make sure that
Taalibah Ahmed teach us. Studying the death of our first patient
our cadaver was not like reading words on a page will be a help to all those that we serve. The tremendous
Jamaica 3 or looking at an image on a screen. It was actual amount of knowledge we gain from our silent teachers is
Andy Lane personal interaction with a human being, a human the first step in our pursuit and our conviction to become
being that so generously donated their body so that protectors of life. We must always continue to learn, for
Tired 4 we could learn. When that person died, it was one there is no limit to our abilities, but it is important to
life lost, but in their death, they have given life to never forget where we began, and those who helped us
countless other people, and they have done that along the way.
Amanda Pearcy Golden Globes Jordan Rogers, Class of 2012
someone someday. At some point I will save
someone’s life. And they will be very glad I
hung in there.
Birthing a Parasite 4
I love watching awards shows. nights I sometimes let my mind wan‐ I can compare medical school, then,
Gaudy outfits, millionaires, mindless enter‐ der to what other people my age are to my Golden Globe. Since it is the pinnacle of
tainment: what more could a person want? doing with their lives right now. Mak‐ my hard work, and it took a struggle to get
My life consists of none of the aforemen‐ ing money? Going out to eat? Coming here, it is a fitting analogy. Even after winning
My North Star 4
tioned things and all of us like to leave the home at five and being done for the the award, there is always work ahead. Yet,
realms of reality every once in awhile. day? Having a social life? I can assure acceptance into medical school was the uni‐
Michelle Miller you they are not up until eleven on verse giving me a pat on the back and saying,
No, my life is not an awards any given night pouring over “The “Yes you can. You are working hard enough.
show. There are deadlines, truckloads of Proper Technique of the Prostate Keep going.” The universe and the Screen
Editors: information, disgruntled professors, even a Exam.” At least for their sake I hope Actors Guild, same difference, right?
few token neurotic colleagues. Anxiety, an not.
Amanda N. Pearcy old friend of mine, enjoys paying me regu‐ We don’t get to make acceptance
lar visits. I even find it lying in bed with me Yet, I wouldn’t be any‐ speeches after getting in to medical school, but
when tossing and turning for fifteen minutes where else in the world. Why? Be‐ we should. At least, I know I didn’t get here
Jordan S. Rogers
somehow turns into all night. Yes, my life is cause no one can help my patients the alone. I can’t thank a producer or co‐star, but I
very real. way I will be able to. And it would be can thank one very important woman. My mom
Jose E. Rodriquez, MD
a tragedy to leave the people who are made my dream reachable. Even if the universe
Funny, but this reality is all I meant to be in my care up to someone wasn’t going to say it, my mom over and over
have ever wanted or dreamed of doing. else. No amount of sleepless night will said “Yes you can. You are working hard
Don’t get me wrong, on those sleepless hold me back from the care I can give enough. Keep going.” Not everyone has a big‐
gest fan. I do.
Portrait of War
Joshua Counihan, Class of 2011
Allison Poimbouf, Class of 2012
Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet porters, teachers, mothers, fa‐
Endless hours were spent in the tingly: “When thinking about
succurrere vitae. “This is the thers, sisters, and brothers.
lab learning the paths of nerves the location and path of the
place where death delights to They enjoyed music, gardening,
and arteries, the actions of mus‐ portal vein, you will not think
help the living.” As a student of and life and wanted to give back
cles, and the different features back to a textbook or lecture.
Florida State University’s Col‐ of the heart to name a few. Asto others through this meaning‐ You will think back to the body
lege of Medicine Class of 2012, I my Clinical Anatomy professor ful contribution. Hearing these you saw it on and studied so
recently learned this lesson. words showed me that such a
described it, it was during this extensively. That sense of rea‐
Although not an idea tested on time that we learned more gift was not only from the indi‐ soning is what will stick with
in my Clinical Anatomy class, viduals whose bodies I learned
about these individuals’ bodies you throughout your life as a
this lesson was taught through upon; it also came from their
than they would ever know. It is physician.” Nothing could be
my professor’s guidance, letters this exact knowledge that willfamily members. Considering more true. Although only a
from family members about serve as a foundation for my many family members expressed medical student with plenty of
their loved ones, and my own education and follow me hesitation in following through years to go, I owe so much to
firsthand experience this sum‐ throughout my career. with their loved one’s wishes, these individuals for the gift of
mer. Most people would agree the appreciation I feel for their knowledge they gave to me. It is
with the idea that death is not However, possibly more impor‐ ability to honor such a request this knowledge that allows me
necessarily a delightful thing. tant was the lesson of generos‐ must also be expressed. Without
to carry out the task that all
However, in a laboratory filled ity. Before meeting our “first the strength of these family physicians take on to improve
with 120 new medical students patients”, as they are some‐ members, this powerful learning the quality of life of patients.
on the ground floor of the Col‐ times called, we were intro‐ experience would not be possi‐ Just as I benefited from the
lege of Medicine, I saw a differ‐ duced to them through the fam‐ ble.
education our silent teachers
ent side of this part of life. ily members of these consider‐
gave me, future patients will
ate individuals. Listening to So how exactly is it that death
benefit from this unselfishness
Through the selfless nature of letters read that were written delights the living through such
as well. For this reason, I will
our “silent teachers”, those that by daughters, sons, wives, and a process? Through the honoring
always remember my first pa‐
donated their bodies to medi‐ husbands, I learned that these of these silent teachers at a
tients—our silent teachers.
cine, I learned the intricate people were no different than special memorial ceremony
anatomy of the human body. any one of us. They were house‐ hosted by my class, one teach‐
wives, businessmen, court re‐ ing assistant described it fit‐
Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature
be a doctor and tells me of all hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes,
Oh, The Places You Will Go the great things woman have
done. Her daughter tells her to
she was still very active. Those conditions
were manageable. It is the Alzheimer’s that
tell me about the great things has limited her.
she did as a woman. Suddenly
Taalibah Ahmed, Class of 2009 this frail elderly woman be‐ I recognized how much her Alzheimer’s had
comes strong in my eyes. Her affected her. Yes she was taking medications
When I graduated from Florida A&M Uni‐ tension. I am sorry high blood pressure, high eyes are the brightest I have ever seen. I look for this but it is a progressive disease. And it
versity in May 2004, my sister, the first grade cholesterol and diabetes.” closely and notice as they have popped open was obvious she was not aware of how much
teacher, gave me a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the I can now see the faintest sign of green. I her illness was affecting her. Her Alz‐
Places You’ll Go! to signify my new journey “Yes I have that. I take pills for those.” now see her young self. heimer’s took away her adult children,
into medical school. I would later read the grandchildren and great grandchildren and
book for the first time to my third grade class “Are you taking your medication as pre‐ “I was a pilot during World War II.” replaced them with her young adult sisters
not realizing the significance of my sister’s scribed?” and brothers and school aged children. It
small gesture. No way. took away her independence. She was
She looks at me strangely and her daughter coping well with her other medical condi‐
Oh the Places You’ll Go! And the places I interjects. “The nursing home manages her She tells me about what it was tions, but as her memory began to
have been. But I always believed somewhere meds. So she is taking everything. They have like growing up as a woman in fail her she was unable to care for
in that book Seuss should have added “and not called me with any concerns so I am the 1940s. Men often did not herself and she became a danger
the people you’ll meet.” With the stress of certain everything is going well with her.” recognize their talent. As to not only herself but to her
medical school, it is easy to get discouraged. I turn to my patient and realize that she
women pilots and the only pilots
not participating in combat, they
“She smiles family. For a moment I felt sorry
But often it is the one patient out of the for her and I empathized with her
hundreds you see that lets you remember the
continues to look at me strangely. Before I
can speak, she asks, “Are you the doctor?”
were often asked to test new
planes. She tells me of one of
at me and daughter. I could not imagine
reason you decided this path. what I would do if my mother did
Oh the people I have met!
“No ma’am I am the student doctor. My
the planes she flew. The men
heard of it and could not believe
says, “It’s not recognize me. But then I
name is Taalibah.” began to understand that Alz‐
I stood outside exam room number seven and
it. Men had a difficult time
recognizing their achievements. nice to see heimer’s took away many of her
memories but left the wonderful
“Oh you are studying to be a doctor. That is
read the chart of my next patient, Mrs. P. nice. When I was young there were not too She reports that even now after
all these years sometimes it a woman ones that made her the woman she
is. I smile as she wants to con‐
Ok she is 89 years old and she is here for a many women doctors.”
follow‐up. I smile and realize that something is not
feels like she still isn’t recog‐
nized for her achievements. doctor. I tinue to tell me different stories of
her missions. I see the expression
I focused my attention to the summary page right. I look at the summary page of her
chart in search of a reason for this experi‐
This is understandable when I
think of a news story 2006, the am proud on her daughter’s face and realize
that it is difficult for her to cope
where there is conveniently placed a brief Air Force proudly showcased
past medical history. She is a patient with
hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
ence of déjà vu I am having but there is
nothing. While I frantically look through the their first woman pilot in the of you.” with a mother that often does not
recognize her as her adult child
chart, I simultaneously attempt to elicit Thunderbirds. but simultaneously she is very
What questions to ask? What exam do I need
information concerning orientation. “Mrs. P, proud of the person her mother is.
to perform? Ok I’m ready. But, she, my patient was one of
do you know where you are.” Her daughter boasts of her mother
the first female pilots in the
I walked into the room and did my initial five military. She was a member of the Women ongoing achievements. She is resident of the
second survey of my patient. I see my pa‐ “Why yes, the doctors office.” month. She suggests I visit the nursing home
Air Force Service Pilots. She flew in several
tient. She is an elderly Caucasian woman. missions which were considered non‐combat. to see all the pictures of when she was a
“And do you know the month.”
Very small. She appears to be frail. Her hair Her job was very important. She flew in young woman, when she was a WASP.
of blue‐gray curls is neatly groomed. She is “Why it is January. It’s 1954. My husband many of the supplies the military men
wearing a long‐sleeved blouse with elastic and I are going dancing.” Later in the week, I make a trip to the
needed. Many of the women were injured nursing home. Although Mrs. P does not
waist pants and what look like Velcro nursing and they had 38 deaths among a little over
shoes. I think to myself, Oh please let shoe Unh ok. There is definitely something not recognize me, she is happy to share more
1000 women. She states that even after all stories about when she was young. She shows
designs be a little more fashionable when I right about my patient. I hate when this the women did and the sacrifices they made,
am old. Her eyes are bright and there is the happens. You walk into an encounter think‐ me a picture of her in front of one of the
it took years for them to be recognized by planes she has flown and tells me the story
hint of the faintest expression of a smile on ing you are dealing with one problem and Congress. In fact she began to fly in 1943
her face. And there is someone with her. then oh there is something else wrong with of how she met her husband, that handsome
and was not recognized as a female pilot in gentleman in the wedding photo in her
Perhaps her daughter or caregiver? I wonder? the patient. Ok what to do? I can just … the military until 1979.
Oh well here I go. bedroom. She tells me of her children. Of
Her daughter interrupts my thoughts. She She grew up in the South on a farm in Texas. her wonderful career later as a school
“Good morning Ms. P. My name is Taalibah must have recognized the look of confusion She told me she came from a large family teacher.
Ahmed. I am a third year student doctor at on my face. She tells me her mother has and that she always knew she would fly. Her
Florida State University working with your Alzheimer’s. The family noticed a change in I complete my history and exam. And pre‐
father had a small plane and she loved to go pare to leave the room. I think of the amaz‐
doctor this year. I am going to take a brief her about 8 years prior to this visit. She up with him. When it was reported that they
history and perform a quick exam and then would forget things like her grandkids names, ing woman I have just met. The woman who
needed women to take a part in the war she paved a way for the all the female pilots in
the doctor will come in and join us.” Ok or that she had a dog. She was becoming was excited. It was later that she will dis‐
Taalibah breathe and slow down. dangerous to herself and they were con‐ the military today. And smile as I think of
cover that they also needed pilots. She was how happy she was to see me in my position,
cerned about her grandchildren when they very young. She had just finished school and
Mrs. P looks at me, smiles and says. “Hello.” were visiting. She has been in a nursing the female student doctor. I prepare to
like many women at that time, her beau was leave the room but as I place my hand on the
home for the past 5‐6 years. She remembers off fighting in the war. There was nothing to
I smile and turn to her companion. I find out other things though. “Oh the stories my door knob Mrs. P asks
that this is her eldest daughter. She accom‐ keep her from joining up so she went to
mother can tell you,” her daughter says. school and became trained as a pilot. She
panies her mom to all of her doctor visits. “Are you the doctor?”
My patient looks at us and it is apparent she discusses every detail like she is still there.
“You are a girl,” Mrs. P chimes in. does not like being spoken about in this way. I smile at her and say. “No I am not the
I was amazed. This woman who is having doctor. My name is Taalibah Ahmed. I am
“Yes I am. Is that a problem? If you prefer But her expression suddenly changes to one difficulty remembering who I am is telling
of wonder and once again she asks me. the student doctor. The doctor will be with
to see the doctor, I completely understand.” this amazing story of when she was young. you in just a moment.”
“Are you the doctor?” I smile and remind her All of a sudden this frail woman became
My patient explains. “No it’s fine. It’s just strong in my eyes. I continued the encounter She smiles at me and says, “It’s nice to see a
nice to see a woman doctor. When I was again that I am the student but it is not like
reminding her at all. Now I understand to and attempted to illicit more information woman doctor. I am proud of you.”
young, women were not doctors.” from her. I now understood the reason for
her it is like the first time she has met me.
Our previous conversation is lost. She once her daughter’s presence. Much of the infor‐
I smile and attempt to redirect the encoun‐ mation I obtain from her daughter. Her
ter. “So you are here for follow‐up of hyper‐ again tells me how nice it is to see a woman
daughter states that despite her having
Jamaica CAMEO Spring Break 2009
Andy Lane, Class of 2012
A child waiting to see the doctor, Rocky Pointe
Patients awaiting service,
Residents in Celebration Rocky Pointe
Final patient of the day, Portland Cottage
I was different. How a Bona Fide Prison; I learned that I healed others simply
Tired Author Unknown
Possible Water Boarding during breaks.
because of my enthusiasm to help.
Who was I now? Did I
have time to think about it? Probably PASS: Onward and upward = …whew; …even while on my PDA to look up the
If ever Accepted, I thought about what not…hah Wow… generic of Lasix…again…
I might do: Sprint through the streets
screaming at the top of my lungs I OK. Three hours left till sleep, two Survival worked. Yet, if I do not progress appropriately,
thought. It made me smile. hours left till sleep, negative two hours
since I was supposed to be asleep, Take a breath. Heavy weight of ever looming incompe‐
Then, It really Happened. negative 3 hours… Aren’t you going to tence is Crushing
sleep? Get up 2 hours earlier, you can Real live patients… Holy Gosh; kids
With bubbling excitement I tran‐ study then. Fine. Fruitless hours. too?! I want my patients to have a Great
scended on to medical school What day is it? What month is it? Doctor.
Beats me… I couldn’t really stop… the curriculum
“Well, Hold onto that feeling, you’ll honestly didn’t allow for it. They deserve this, I demand this.
Need to remember it someday” said a You forgot to verbalize your inspection
Second year. before auscultation. What if I hurt someone or scarred them To me, this still requires a considerable
for the rest of their lives? gauntlet. Can my body take it?
And then, there It all was before me. You forgot the current data on first line
treatment for HTN Could I bear that burden? Wait a sec‐ Arching against muscle memory every
Death, dismemberment with honor; ond, was that likely? single day
Vick’s vapor rub jammed up my nose to You forgot how to unfold a drape cor‐
get through it all ‐ Honestly the most rectly Uncertainly, hopefully
I kept going… the alternative was Not
Difficult hours of my life … my cadaver
had not been preserved appropriately You forgot the leading cause of heredi‐ Damn it!
tary anemia in Southeast Asia The constant variable of Time… I con‐
Timeless months spent feverishly trying
tinued to Age Something BIG within me has started to
to absorb EVERY thing. You forgot to ask specifically about use return, though.
of homeopathic remedies, acupunc‐
I met Real people
After all, it was a matter of life or ture, or chiropractors Sometimes, I want to run through the
death: Life or death for my patient.
Darkest secrets and every body system streets screaming at the top of my
Or, for me? You forgot to wash your hands again
reviewed in less than one hour lungs
after touching your hair
For certain death of who I once was, I
This was my skill; that I was given As I think about what a beautiful ca‐
would be no longer. (Do you really have ANY talent?)
Time. reer this will be.
Back home, I was the medical student. USMLE Step 1: Eight hours of torture in
I motivated, I encouraged, I laughed If only I wasn’t so Tired…
Risin’ My North Star
I stood almost dead center of energy and blood
this woman’s vagina!
Inflating her corpus into a
My left hand, like a robot guided helpless waddling land whale
Amanda Pearcy, Class of 2012 Michelle Miller, Class of 2012
the suture string as my Inducing uninvited nausea, a
attending repaired her tear
slowly a bating fatigue,
What an event!
With growth of an appetite
A week ago Wednesday Hey Doc, I got a problem I thought to myself
larger than a giant’s,
I could never do it
And for icing on the cake, you To my North Star,
had a day I will always and it’s giving me fits
remember There must be a place where trick her into spending money
For all my years to come.
My legs got a risin’ and its women go to get this strength
Hadn’t realized I’d hear a hurting me to sit And in gratitude, you kick her!
I just haven’t found it yet Whilst variations may be eminent,
I guess you can tell that I have But in return she smiles?
word back from class in Tho’ not predictable,
A risin’? Oh my what the never expelled a human being But why?
heck is that? Didn’t she realize that she might
from my own orifices I will hold your charts closest to my heart
Ah, but will I ever?
She was 13 and spoke with During high seas and clear skies alike,
Am I in over my Doctor‐to‐ I saw this woman three times I withdrew my blank stare from
a Southern accent and a
deep drawl Be Hat? before her birthing Whether in uncharted territory or well‐traveled routes,
her repaired battle scar
‘They’ call it a “delivery!”
And gazed at mother and son
I will look to you,
They suddenly no longer
I call it war!
She was in for a checkup, Oh no, on no, I want to
Her lacerations, proof of her seemed like opponents the guidance you have bestowed to me
not a break, bruise or a help this girl so much.
A euphoric aura exuded from
battle and proof of her victory
As the miniature being finally their togetherness
To be the physician with
Pretty as the dark sky as the healing touch. emerged,
The thirty nine weeks of slow How to Submit to HEAL
I thought to myself— human torture
it shines with the moon at Interested in adding your art, photography, writing, poem, or
Literally ending in a vivacious
its peak Am I trying too hard? Is other artistic expression to this collaboration?
Then I saw the agony that burst of life.
this job not for me? EMAIL
The war was over.
masked her true aesthetics
Not knowing me from
And recalled the moments All of a sudden it seemed Amanda Pearcy email@example.com
Adam, she looked at me I asked her to show me
before this war… Jordan Rogers
so meek scared for what I would
But still I wondered where she
I thought – You little parasite! Dr. Jose Rodriquez firstname.lastname@example.org
Leaching on this poor woman’s went to find that strength.
For telling your business
to a stranger is tough I waited baited, throat Please note, pieces selected for the HEAL newsletter may
But she spoke with trepi‐
dation and began with a
with a lump
Relax she said….it’s just a
Birthing a Parasite be reprinted in our annual book publication. Revision of
artistic works to fill space allotment are at the discretion
of the editorial staff.
laugh bump. Camille Hippolyte, Class of 2010 Thank you and we look forward to your excellent submissions.