I see the Schwartz fellowship as an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the culture of medical education at Geisel and in the U.S. in general. Keeping a patient-centered focus amidst the pressures of modern medicine is something that every medical student will eventually face and having the chance to bring positive change to how we are able to achieve that balance is incredibly exciting. While working on this greater goal, the fellowship also provides support to furthering some community-service projects in which I am currently engaged: mindfulness work at the Upper Valley Haven and the development of primary-care clinics for the poor in this area and outside of the U.S. I am gratified by the commitment and creativity of the other fellows and our mentors. To be included in such a group gives me a place to actively engage with others interested in thinking about medicine from a more human—and humane—perspective.
I will be working with Dr. Tim Leahy on how to further incorporate the idea of compassionate care into the Geisel medical curriculum—how do we imbue humanity, community service, and a deep sense of connection to patients into our formalized curriculum? Geisel already produces incredibly talented, clinically skilled students who understand the importance of knowing how to relate to patients. How can we enhance the latter in the most systematic, impactful way possible? These are some of the questions that we will be trying to answer. The community aspect of my work this year is tied closely to these questions and to figuring out how to engage students in service in a way that sustains dedication to community as a career and life-long endeavor. It will be important to understand what the community needs are and how we can best contribute to existing efforts as we move forward in pursing these goals.
If you'd like to offer feedback about this article, we'd welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.
This article may not be reproduced or reposted without permission. To inquire about permission, contact DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.