Meet Mayo Med

The Official Blog of Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

May 17, 2017

New Yorkers move to Rochester, Minnesota

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
This is our final blog post of the year. Please see the editor's note at the end of the post! by Reese Imhof My wife, Nicole, and I made the move from New York to Rochester last spring. She was fortunate and landed a job in her field at Mayo Clinic right away, which gave us a reason to move sooner rather than later. We were both born and raised in the New York metropolitan area and felt a strong connection with our roots. While it was a difficult decision to leave New York, we have absolutely loved this past year at Mayo and living life in Rochester! Here are my top reasons why I love Rochester, MN and how moving from New York to Rochester has been for me. [...]
New Yorkers move to Rochester, Minnesota
Apr 19, 2017

The Lucky Ones

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Mitch Obey This entry begins with graduation just a few weeks away, and I cannot help but find myself reflecting upon the journey.  The inaugural day of medical school orientation was nearly four years ago now, and it would be entirely cliché to say it feels like it was just yesterday.  But the truth is that it honestly feels like a lifetime ago.  And yet I still remember the finest details of that day, down to the very breakfast I ate and the suit I wore.  Anxiously I approached the old limestone steps, marking the entrance of the Mayo School of Medicine’s Great Hall.  There I stumbled upon two other students, my classmates-to-be, who were taking pictures and making memories of that special day.  We introduced ourselves, then took a deep breath, and together pushed open the doors to the next four years. [...]
The Lucky Ones
Mar 15, 2017

Does empathy have a future in medicine?

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Andrew M. Harrison Does the patient with 11 out of 10 pain deserve empathy? The most contrite answer is probably "every patient deserves empathy". However, the first time I was faced with a patient in 20 out of 10 pain, I found my empathy waning as I typed "no acute distress". As an aside, I have long wondered what this term means. I type it so much. I suspect this phrase lingers because it reduces the internal angst of clinicians, but perhaps they simply have more empathy than me. On January 18, 2017, I attended Mayo Clinic's 5th Annual Education and Technology Forum: Discover how to improve your teaching through learning analytics. Held across all 3 of Mayo Clinic's campuses, I found myself uneasy after this 3.5 hour session, as I wandered the desert of Phoenix. Eventually the source occurred to me. Perhaps I missed it during my many trips to the bathroom. Perhaps I missed it as my attention waxed and waned, but I never heard the word empathy spoken. [...]
Does empathy have a future in medicine?
Feb 2, 2017

Iron Chefs in Medical School

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Editt Nikoyan There are a lot of amazing opportunities that come with being a Mayo medical student. One of the aspects that has really made an impression on me is the school’s dedicated focus on student wellness, and I attribute a lot of that to the Student Life and Wellness Committee and their generous Student Initiated Wellness Activities (SIWA) grants. That’s a mouthful, but basically these grants fund activities related to improving the well being of the class, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual. So far, our classmates have come up with some pretty cool ideas. To name just a few, we’ve done weekly yoga sessions to help de-stress, local escape rooms to help us bond in the beginning of the school year, and cross-country skiing with the second years as a fun outdoor winter event. We even get funding for our Baking Committee to bring treats to class to celebrate our birthdays. [...]
Iron Chefs in Medical School
Jan 18, 2017

Marriage and Medical School

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Reese Imhof Being married in medical school has its challenges along with its advantages. My wife Nicole and I had our wedding less than a year before I entered Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. We’ve known each other since our senior year of high school and we lived together in New York, where we are both from, before making the move out to Rochester, Minnesota.  Nicole works at Mayo Clinic as a licensed clinical social worker, primarily working with child and adolescent patients. Sharing the experience of being a part of the Mayo Clinic family has brought us closer during a time when being in a relationship sometimes feels quite difficult due to the demands of studying, class schedules, and other responsibilities that come along with medical school. [...]
Marriage and Medical School
Dec 23, 2016

‘Tis the Season to be Thankful…

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Sydney Larkin Greetings! Exhausted, post-anatomy first-year here! I’m here to give you some insight into Anatomy, our block structure, and how most of us feel about Mayo’s mandatory lecture policy. Real talk for a second: I’m currently at home in Cincinnati lying on the couch and cuddling with my cat by the fire. It’s snowy and cold out so I’m happy to be relaxing and writing this post under my big, fluffy blanket. Ha! My little brother is still at college taking finals until Wednesday, but at Mayo Med we get the whole week off! One of the best things about Mayo is how they structure their selective weeks – which is how this whole blog and couch situation is made possible. I’m currently using this week to shadow surgeons at home and recharge after a difficult week of Anatomy finals. One of the many reasons I chose to come to Mayo was the flexibility that they offer in their curriculum for career exploration. While I was nervous at first, I have really enjoyed living my life in a blocked schedule. This means that we learn one subject intensely for 6-8 weeks and then have a “selective” week that can be used for anything we wish. Many take vacation to recharge their minds and bodies, while others use it as a chance for career exploration, shadowing, learning practical skills, doing research, or even going abroad! [...]
‘Tis the Season to be Thankful…
Nov 30, 2016

Costa Rica

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
by Claudia Gutierrez and Simrit (Simi) Warring Less than 12 hours after our microbiology final exam, we boarded a plane for Costa Rica. We spent a week at the rural Hospital William Allen de Turrialba, which serves local residents and an indigenous Indian population, the Cabécar tribes. Day 1: We were greeted in the pediatric unit by a child recovering from cutaneous leishmaniasis. The next patient we met was recovering from Ascaris lumbercoides so far progressed that the child had had vomiting with worms being excreted from the nose and mouth. The nurse told us the story, “As soon as the child started throwing up, I had to jump forward to grab the worms one by one as fast as I could from the child’s mouth so he wouldn’t choke.” Day 2: That morning we toured the microbiology lab. It was an incredible mix of modern technology and practicality. They had fume hoods, automated PCR machines, and microscopes similar to those at Mayo, but had a cart full of stool samples that patients had collected in cleaned out Gerber food jars - talk about being resourceful. [...]
Costa Rica
Nov 4, 2016

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

By Ling Werner @lingwerner
The Medical School is going through many changes this year: A new school dean was named this Spring, Fredric Meyer, M.D., the interviews for the opening of the Arizona Campus in 2017, and now the change of the medical school name to Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. There were several [...]
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
Oct 12, 2016

Nicaragua

By jdoliver @jdoliver
by Jeremie Oliver “It’s going to be a good day today,” were the words of encouragement from our physician leader, Dr. Bachman. I distinctly remember standing at the triage station of our clinic, assembled within a local schoolhouse building, gazing in awe at the hundreds of Nicaraguans grasping the fence with desperation in their faces. Our job was to provide the highest quality, patient-centered medical attention to each and every one of them. Feelings of personal desperation began to absorb me, sensing my own inadequacy in this dire situation. After all, what significant difference could an untrained, first-year medical student really contribute to these people in need? How was I going to effectively communicate with them, with a limited capacity to speak their native language? And communicating with them, how would I be able to convey to them a significant message to better their health and personal well-being? [...]
Nicaragua
Apr 27, 2016

Advanced Doctoring

By Leah Grengs @leahrgr
During our second year of medical school, students participate in a course called ‘Advanced Doctoring’. The name was at first surprising to me, because as a beginning second year medical student, I still struggled to distinguish a systolic versus diastolic murmur. During the course, small groups of students would round [...]
Advanced Doctoring
Apr 13, 2016

The Mayo Culture: A Lasting Legacy

By Amanda Porter @amandaporter
Mayo is one of the most exciting places I have ever been. The novelty of walking through the Peace Plaza staring into the eyes of the Gonda Building still, months later, hasn’t gotten old. Every day I’m inspired. But aside from the beautiful architecture, art, and design that surrounds us here in Rochester, the best part is certainly the people. The consultants (i.e., attending physicians) here are accessible, incredibly accomplished, and passionate about their work and their patients. But what I’ve found, thus far, is that this is true for consultants who have done any piece of their training at Mayo. Selectives are a beautiful part of the Mayo Medical School curriculum. They are especially great because you can tailor each selective to wherever in the world you want to be. For my first selective, I wanted to go home to Michigan, where all of my family lives, but I still wanted the Mayo experience. So I took advantage of the Mayo Medical School Alumni Association Directory, which includes individuals who have done any training at Mayo or who have worked at Mayo for at least one year. I discovered there were 218 individuals in Michigan. There were consultants that specialized in Transplant Surgery, Abdominal Imaging, Infectious Disease; the options were endless. I settled on neurosurgery in Traverse City, Michigan and decided to just throw an email out into the interwebs just to see what would happen.  My first choice consultant responded. [...]
The Mayo Culture: A Lasting Legacy
Mar 30, 2016

A Snippet of Wellness at Mayo Medical School

By Leah Grengs @leahrgr
Medical school is stressful; there is no way around this blatant fact. You had the college thing perfected, otherwise you would not have gotten into medical school. Then 50% of you find yourself somewhere you have never been… below average in your classes. In addition to class, life happens and your time stretches even thinner at a time when you feel like you could use a clone. You may live a $200 plane ride away from family and friends and struggle to relate and keep in touch. When many people around you in your eyes are effortlessly excelling, it is hard not to feel like a failure.  This can make you feel isolated and question whether you belong in medical school or should even become a doctor. [...]
A Snippet of Wellness at Mayo Medical School
Mar 9, 2016

Battle's sign

By Katie Johnson @katieljo
Out of the 100+ patients I have seen and helped manage over the course of this month, the one I will remember most was not even a patient of mine. Nearing the end of the shift, I overheard rumblings about a patient coming in. The words “subdural hematoma”, “skull fracture”, [...]
Battle's sign
Dec 2, 2015

Spiti Valley

By Vidhushei Yogeswaran @vidhusheiyogeswaran
by Vid Yogeswaran When I was in the Tabo monastery in the Himalayas this past summer, I had this moment of clarity. I could see one road ahead of me, and at the end all I could see was that regardless of where it takes me, I wanted to connect [...]
Spiti Valley
Nov 11, 2015

Be thirsty for knowledge and hungry for food, because professors do more than just teach

By jessicasaw @jessicasaw
by Jessica Saw I’ve always valued close relationships with faculty. Some people think getting invited to a professor’s house for dinner is downright awkward while others think it is outright awesome. I am part of the latter. Part of the reason I chose MMS was its small class size, which [...]
Be thirsty for knowledge and hungry for food, because professors do more than just teach
Oct 21, 2015

Brains at the Beach

By amelia @ameliacva
by Amelia Van Handel As I left my parked car behind and started running along the beach, my shoes and socks were instantly filled with gritty sand. It was mid-April and the weather was a balmy 75 degrees, even in the late evening. I could smell the briny salt in [...]
Brains at the Beach
Oct 7, 2015

My time as a Muzungu

By Kristen Sessions @kristenlse
Jessie* looked like something out of a textbook: bone thin arms, legs puffy with edema, perfectly round stomach, glazed over eyes. As the physician quizzed me on the appropriate treatment for malnutrition, Jessie barely reacted. He looked like the stereotypical “starving African child” I’d seen on ads for this non-profit or that charity fund more times than I could count. But he was right in front of me now—my patient. As we talked with his grandma, the story of his five short years took shape: his mom had left, his step-mom neglected him, and his dad was working too much to care for him. He had been passed around until he ended up in front of me, and finally he was being cared for. Over the next few days, Jessie came alive. His eyes were brighter, he looked at me (the “muzungu”, or white person) with the mix of interest and hesitancy the other children did, and he ate with vigor. A few days of cheap treatment was bringing the dead back to life before my eyes. He was getting back his personality, and with it, a second chance at life. [...]
My time as a Muzungu
Sep 23, 2015

Dorothy

By Lydia Wheeler @lydiapwh
Her hair was like black licorice, cold, curled, and still. Her lips, though dry and cracking, were full and puckered like a peach. She had the bone structure of an African goddess, one girls would kill for nowadays. Her nose, though slim and straight had a slight bend in the middle, only adding to the magnificence of her beauty. Detach yourself, detach yourself, I told myself, She’s not human anymore. She’s a corpse. Her long, slender limbs hung awkwardly from the anatomy lab table. Her wrinkled, dark brown skin reminded me of a sun-ripened raisin, especially around her eyes and mouth. She had clearly been a smiler. As I wondered what color eyes were hiding behind her thin, delicate eyelids embedded with tiny withered folds of skin, I resisted the urge to lift one to see. Standing stone still, I stared back at the body I would soon be working on, and read the nametag—“Dorothy Hollins, teacher, 85.”* She reminded me of my grandmother. Detach yourself, I heard the back of my mind tell me once again. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I began to wonder what her life had been like. How many times had she brushed her wily curls, commanding them to lay down with every stroke as each tendril fought against it like little baby snakes fighting to gain the upper hand? Detach yourself. What was it about her heart that made her smile so much that even in death, the slight left crook of her lips with the surrounding smile lines betrayed any frown she may have had while living? I wondered if it was any bigger than other corpses I had seen. How many of her students had been enlightened by her brain, with its numerous nerve connections filled with memories, losses, and happiness, the one I knew I would end up dissecting soon? Detach yourself. [...]
Dorothy
Sep 9, 2015

How to slay an angry genome...

By Justin Maroun @justinwma
A war fought with pipettes, stethoscopes and a whole lot of gusto is happening every day here at the Mayo Clinic. We have the chance to watch every battle of the war on cancer converge at one amazing institution. As fresh medical students, we can pick up a journal article, centrifuge tube, or stack of charts and help write the next chapter. A story of hope, love, tragedy, and science is being told every day and there is something for everyone to contribute. There are people like me in my medical class who are in love with bench top science and there are people at the far opposite end of the spectrum who are more interested in the social implications of cancer. When we all interact and work together, I can see a bright future. This past year I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well I never thought of that’ almost every day, and that is exactly how the future will be written. [...]
How to slay an angry genome...
Aug 26, 2015

Bringing health out of the clinic and into the community

By Kari Neutzling @kariane
As an aspiring medical student, I always dreamed of the incredible good I could do for my future patients. I would gain extensive skills that I can use diagnose and treat all manners of diseases. Medicine seemed like such a miraculous field – I wanted to study and be part [...]
Bringing health out of the clinic and into the community
Aug 12, 2015

Vaccines and Me

By Margaret Cupit @margaretccu
My first memory of vaccines takes me back to when I was about three years old.  Because I was prone to tantrums (and quite good at them, I might add), my mother would bribe me if I promised not to cry during my “shots”. At the time, I valued vaccines because they were a way for me to collect more Barbie dolls or TY Beanie Babies. I decided that the pain they brought was worth the good they also seemed to bring.In sixth grade, I had to do a project in my science class, and I was assigned the topic of Edward Jenner. I learned that Jenner pioneered the first vaccination, which was for smallpox, by studying the cowpox virus. This led me to create a home video in which I was dressed up as Edward Jenner and my friend was dressed as a cow. The video was a hit with my class, and my research on the topic led me to begin viewing vaccines as magical—how else could they prevent people from getting sick? As a first year medical student taking microbiology, I became more aware of the ways in which vaccines truly impact health, both on a personal and global scale. For example, smallpox has been eradicated, saving an estimated 5 million lives annually. An outbreak of polio has not been reported in some time, making it likely that this debilitating disease may also be a matter of history. If children and infants are immunized, many life-threatening illnesses can be avoided and maybe even annihilated. This is a powerful concept. [...]
Vaccines and Me
Jul 22, 2015

Another Beginning

By Tyler Brobst @tylerbrobst
Welcome back! We are excited to launch Meet Mayo Med for its second year. Our goal has been to share the incredible stories of students at Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, both inside and outside of the classroom and hospital. We are looking forward to sharing more of these stories over the [...]
Another Beginning
May 6, 2015

Full Circle

By Brian Rodysill @brodysill
As I stepped up to the patient on the operating table, side by side with a doctor who had changed my life, I could feel goose bumps starting to creep up my arms and chest while the little hairs on the back of my neck began standing on end. Approaching [...]
Full Circle
Apr 22, 2015

Allen

By Margaret Cupit @margaretccu
I had never seen someone quite so helpless as Allen*, so away from the grasp of any type of comfort. When I walked into the room, the 20-year-old cancer patient was sitting on the exam table with his legs crossed. He was looking down at his electronic gaming device, pressing buttons randomly, perhaps in an effort to avoid making eye contact with anyone in the room-especially me. The thinning hair on the top of his large round head, his long and scruffy beard covering his chin, and his thin-rimmed glasses seemed odd in juxtaposition to his windbreaker pants, big white sneakers, and toy. It was as if he was both a young child and an aging old man at the same time. I wanted more than anything to speak with Allen, though I’m not sure what I would have said if I had been given the opportunity to make anything more than small talk. I wanted him to know that I understood what it felt like to dry heave for hours during a chemotherapy treatment, how strange it was to have all your friends be afraid to talk to you and to have your mother treat you like a five-year-old again. I wanted him to know that I understood what he was going through far more than most people did. But that wouldn’t have helped Allen, because while I was standing before him, a medical student following my passion, he was dying. I resorted to trying to make him smile. Allen, however, did not even seem annoyed, as if my presence was not even significant enough for such a thing. He seemed angry at himself, his situation, and his tumor. But the worst part about Allen’s situation was not his appearance or his sadness or even the fact that his pelvic sarcoma had relapsed for the third time and was only going to get worse. The worst part about Allen’s situation was his mother. [...]
Allen
Apr 8, 2015

Calzones: Proceed as Indicated

By Rachel Hammer @rachelrha
Just three weeks into my general surgery rotation, I have continually been given the privilege to “close”, or stitch shut, the incision. It sounds like I might be a reserve star pitcher, but really, it’s the grunt work OR job for medical students. Since I’m not allowed to do anything [...]
Calzones: Proceed as Indicated
Contact Us · Privacy Policy