The Baystate Phoenix UMMS-Baystate Internal Medicine Residency Humanities Journal

what is the Humanities track?
The humanities-in -medicine Track at UMMS-Baystate Internal Medicine Residency includes Medicine and Med-Peds residents and faculty. Track meetings are designed to expose residents to various humanities related activities, including but not limited to: narrative writing, poetry, analysis of an op-ed, fine arts evaluation, and other avenues that faculty developed all while enjoying afternoon tea, discussing finding joy in practice and connecting with their own humanity.
This is the first Humanities track Publication. Our journal's name-- The baystate Phoenix-- Encapsulates a year full of growth, change and rising from the ashes. What you will find in our Journal is a culmination of a year's worth of shared experiences, passion and love for humanism in the art medicine. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Our first session we all painted mugs and then used these throughout the year during our Humanities Track meetings.
Group poem, Humanities Track, 8/21/19

That was when his heart sank heavier than any anchor of the sea.

Tailoring of the suit a scaffold to hide weakness and frailty

A cohesive factory with only one true purpose

His brain a broken clock unable to tick on

Brown curved beans are pulverized into chocolate colored grounds

Did I close the garage door

I wish I’d asked him if he was a Jehovahs witness

One last glance at what I’ve left behind

An ecchymosis over a left orbit brilliant in purple and yellow blossoming across the loose skin of his face like a wilting flower

His head too large for his skinny legs arched backward sharply unsupported by her negligible neck

Do you want me to trust you can protect yourself

He smiles at me and nods seemingly unaware of his cage and me his keeper

Hospital Soundtrack

Harps whisper gently

Emergent Intubation

Bookends of COVID

A Breath of Air - by Gagandeep Singh
THe Virus...
Our days are different than others
By Megan Emmich, DO
by Lauren Wagener
Where is she?
by Kavya

Our chaplain Ute Schmidt led the group through a Kintsugi exercise, an ancient technique from Japan in which broken pottery was transformed into new beauty by repairing and enhancing the breaks with gold. We did a modified exercise of breaking our painted mugs, then gluing them back together and painting the cracks with gold paint. We reflected on the fact that an object can be broken and yet made beautiful again, though in a different form. As we grow in life we will all acquire emotional, spiritual and physical wounds. With resilience and hope this exercise reminds us new realities and appearances can be healed and beautiful even with the scars that remain.

Beautifully broken
Finding the light through the darkness
"No doctor for you"
By Alyssa
Fuerte- by Gagandeep Singh
Group poem, Humanities Track, 6/8/2020
The resident Baker
@theresidentbaker Check out more of yummy creations!

2 years ago I hopped, skipped and jumped to the USA along with 4,900 other International Medical Graduates to start residency. Doctors from 143 different countries and 1100 medical schools come to the USA to continue their journey. Here, they join 200,000 other international medical graduates who make up a quarter of the USA’s physician work force. The vast majority of IMGs go into fields such as Internal medicine [38%], Family Medicine [25%], Pediatrics [25%] and Psychiatry [30%]–they are the physicians you see in the community. Often the first doctor a patient will interact with for a problem will have graduated from a medical school abroad.

Residency is by no means easy. There are no cliché free ways of describing the intensity and relentlessness of medical training. A plethora of TV series and other pop culture references have portrayed the life and times of residents from Grey’s Anatomy to Scrubs. Reality is much more daunting; imagine, in addition the long hours and 6 day weeks, you have transplanted from one culture to another. Things that are commonplace to others are landmines waiting to go off. For example, If you’ve ever smugly looked at the bright red “wrong way” signs on the entry onto the highway and thought, “who would ever need to see that?” Let me tell you, some people do. For every time you’ve known not to touch a snake because you’re aware that in the US they can be poisonous, let me reassure you, there is an IMG who does not know. Your aggravation with remembering how many inches are in a foot, is nothing compared to IMGs constant mental Olympics to convert imperial to metric. Just so you know, “football” refers to soccer in the rest of the world, so saying “Monday morning quarterbacking” is a football term, doesn’t help. Lastly, even the simple pleasure of lunch is ruined when the mundane act of ordering “chips” results in “crisps” making their way onto your tray. This is the reality of my life outside of residency.

Despite the hardships of residency, despite the stress and trauma of moving country, training in the USA is a dream of many, myself included. So why do we do it? Simply put, the USA offers the best training for doctors in the world at some of the world’s most renowned institutions. A host of opportunities that aren’t attainable where IMGs have come from. This is however, very much a two way street. The US healthcare system is dependent on IMGs, with their diverse skills and backgrounds as the brightest and best that other nations have to offer. The American Medical Association predicts that the US will have a shortage of between 50,000 - 100,000 physicians by 2030. The infrastructure to train US graduates to fulfill this demand is sadly lacking. Simply put, without the world’s best and brightest lining up to come here, the USA’s medical system is looking at collapse.

The last 3 years have seen a great deal of change in the political climate of the USA. The current administrations’ perspective towards immigrants has soured. Newspapers around the world are filled with sweeping headlines of “Muslim Ban”, “Border Wall” and “Suspension of Green Cards.” Although most of these policies don’t directly stop physicians from coming to train in the US, they are making a difference. They send a message that “foreigners need not apply” as they are not welcome. Although the number of IMGs applying to the US has steadily increased since the mid 90s, 2018 saw a huge drop (down to 2012 levels)! This has widely been attributed to recent changes in immigration policy. Those who still undertake the endeavor, often come on a visa that requires they do 3 years of service in an “underserved community” as a waiver to stay in the US. These areas are often inner cities and rural areas with data suggesting that those physicians who come to do waivers are likely to stay. Ironically, they are most likely to be primary physicians for the communities where anti-immigrant sentiments are most strongly held.

The US Healthcare system mirrors the American ideal, a nation of immigrants searching for their chance at the American Dream. Without a change in course we are on the precipice of destroying something that truly makes America great…again? -- Anonymous

Members of the Humanities track: Alyssa Cali, Crystal Cobb, Druv Das, Adam Dossaji, Megan Emmich, Kevin Hachey, Kavya Kelagere, Chrissy Kreider, Laura Kvenvold, Kahki Mealey, Julieta Rodriguez, Jamie Schwarz, Gagan Singh, Lauren Wagener, Caitlyn wasserman, Carly Martiniano, Katie O'Brien, Prarhna Bhardwaj. Faculty members: Beth Eagleson, Rohini Harvey, Satoko Igarashi, Angela Sweeney, Katie Jobbins and Chris bryson


Created with an image by Fusion Medical Animation - "New visualisation of the Covid-19 virus"