Thursday, September 19, 2019

SVI: The Next Step 2 CS

Image credit: Pexels
Author: Haig Aintablian , MD
AAEM/RSA President
Originally published: Common Sense July/August 2019

I did great on my SVI. The day of, I had just gotten a haircut and shaved my beard. My top half was covered by a nicely pressed navy blue suit jacket my mom bought me 4 years ago but that I hadn’t touched since my undergrad graduation. Under the blazer, a white shirt I’d worn twice that week already, and a baby blue tie I’m pretty sure I’ve had since high school. Best of all though, my bottom half was covered with a pair of stereotypical grey Hanes boxers – the type you buy in a 6+1 pack because you get one for free. I sat behind a desk in the middle of my half disastrous room (the side not covered by the camera), prayed an Our Father, and I said what had become my motivational slogan at this point, “**** it, we’re almost done.” I looked great on camera. My upper body displaying a professional, well-groomed student against a clean room backdrop with undergraduate degrees newly hung on the wall. There were no tight pants to hold me back (away rotations made me gain weight like a CHFer off Lasix). Regardless of how I looked on camera, I felt a deep helplessness. During the hardest half year of medical school trying to prove myself on away rotation after away rotation, devoid of family, friends, and proper sleep or nutrition, I was expected to be a robot in front of a video camera for reasons no medical student understood, no administrator could directly answer, and almost no PD would actually care about (let alone watch).

Thursday, September 5, 2019

FIX Scholarship Winner - Valerie Pierre

Name: Valerie Pierre, MD
Residency Program: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center
Graduation Date: June 2021

This photo highlights the importance of mentorship - an integral aspect of my journey in emergency medicine. As I reflect on my matriculation into emergency medicine residency, and the successes, triumphs and failures during my training, I can truly say that my mentors’ support has been a source of encouragement for me. More specifically, I have been fortunate to have strong female mentors who came before me. They continually share their wisdom and experience gained in overcoming the many barriers throughout their journeys in emergency medicine and encourage me to persevere in a primarily male-dominated field. This knowledge that my story is not unique serves as daily inspiration for me.