Lost to Follow Up

By: Laura Spatafora (c2020) The first thing that struck me about Anna was her age; she was only 28 years old, but she had the longest chart and medication list of all the patients that we’d seen in clinic that day, all of whom were also much older than her. I remember thinking to myself,… Continue reading Lost to Follow Up

How my experience as a cancer patient shaped me as a medical student and future health provider

  By: Raafia Siddiqui The surgeon asked me for the second time, “So are you here alone?” “Yes,” I answered, a bit impatiently this time. I was a 20-year-old who felt I had better things to do than be at this appointment. My family doctor had noticed a lump on my throat and insisted I… Continue reading How my experience as a cancer patient shaped me as a medical student and future health provider

Get Out of Your Own Head

By: Carlos Chan (c2020) At McMaster University, we prize the ability to engage in self-reflection and learn from our experiences so that we can become better physicians. We dedicate an entire morning to it every week in pre-clerkship (professional competencies), we have required writing assignments centered around the idea (our reflective physician portfolio), and it’s… Continue reading Get Out of Your Own Head


"Rebecca Lauwers shares a reflection written during her first year as a medical student." My first patient encounter of medical school occurred two days before the winter holidays.  I spent the day in child and adolescent psychiatry. The parents have lingered in my mind the most.  Sometimes they seem more haunted than the patients. I… Continue reading Fossils

Palliative Care: The old and the new

During my time in England, I spent a day at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. They have a day program for healthcare professionals to come visit and learn about the history of palliative care, to tour the hospice itself and see the wards, and to talk about the future of palliative care and some possible… Continue reading Palliative Care: The old and the new

The Encounter: An Essay

Every day on my walk to and from school, I pass through a lovely park. Usually, I walk at a fairly quick pace so as not to waste time or be late for class, ignoring those around me and avoiding eye contact. One afternoon on my walk through the park, a dishevelled-looking man on a… Continue reading The Encounter: An Essay