Recent Comments

  1. You are so inspirational to all of us fighting through this journey. Thank you for reminding me of all the good we could do for people who need it most.

  2. I loved reading this, Andrea. Your innate wisdom and conscious compassion are things we can not teach. You are going to be an amazing PA! We at OHSU (and soon society at large) are lucky to have you!

  3. Wonderful commentary on your motivation towards your chosen profession, the unique role PAs can play in addressing the current health care challenges in our country and your obvious passion to contribute to the care of the medically underserved. You make us proud.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Andrea! It’s always so interesting to learn about our student passions.

  5. Very well-written, Andrea. You are already making a difference. Your passion and commitment to improving the lives of others is an inspiration.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea! Proud to be in such good company in the PA program. :)

  7. Thank you Roheet, but I did not break you. In fact, you survived, thrived, learned a lot about biochemistry and yourself, and succeeded. You are powerful.


  8. Wow. Well put!

  9. Thank you :) It’s good to hear!

  10. You are not alone. I was recently hospitalized and got to experience healthcare lying down. I’ve been a physician for 30 years and I’m a grad of OHSU OB/Gyn residency. I had every resource available to me: insurance, friends in high places, a loving family at my side, and a private hospital and yet I still experienced many of the things that you describe. Too many doctors in the mix, no one communicating with each other or with me, and one frustration after another. Our healthcare system is in transition (I hope) and I’m so grateful for young physicians who can see a better delivery system. Remember how you feel now and don’t let med school or residency beat it out of you. You can always do better for your patients.
    Tracey I plan to post about my hospitalization this week. Be well

  11. Glad to see you back in the saddle again; thanks for the poem! Congrats Mom and Dad — you’ve raised a very talented young man!

  12. Jenna,

    There is a comfort and a joy in loving what you do that it does not feel like work. It does not mean that the challenges decrease or that there will be no conflicts or even contention in the workplace. It does mean that it is easier to get up to go to work, it is easier to look forward to the 8 or 10 or 12 or even 16 hours you will be there. It is easier for your family to support you in your chosen profession.

    I enjoy that feeling now. I have never regretted the change in career to nurse and I look forward to each day with enthusiasm and a smile. It is a wonderful feeling!

    Good luck on your journey!

  13. Thank you, readers, for the supportive comments. @thrallj: We appreciate you sharing your personal story. OHSU patients are encouraged to utilize the Patient Relations office if they need assistance or advocacy.

  14. Shanley, this could not have been said any better.
    To the class of Med14, it has been such a great experience to share these last few years with the greatest OHSU class ( yes I’m bias) and can’t wait to refer to you guys as my “colleagues from medschool”.

    -Nancy Nguyen

  15. What a moving story. It’s hard for everybody. I hope your family’s doing OK.

  16. Thank you for sharing your experience. I too experienced the hospital inpatient side I was the patient after a major surgery I left the hospital after 9 days without ever getting a bath and I was left to the point of tears without pain meds given and feeling like I was the burden on the help. Second stay I was told very abruptly that I have a disease. There is no cure for what I have and so it is an ongoing misadventure everytime I come in.

  17. Anushka: what an experience. I am very sorry for yours and your family’s loss. Thank you for making us wiser by allowing us to see things through your eyes, even under such difficult and personal circumstances.

  18. Anushka – Thank you for sharing this difficult experience, and for your part in taking hopeful action for the future of our health care system.

  19. Andy-we promise not to ask, but our fingers are crossed for all of you! Now-go out there and be great docs.

  20. Well done, Roheet, and good advice for those future physicians out there.

  21. I’m interested how you didn’t comment on the fact that using photos of people without heads really dehumanises fat people and adds to the stigma where fat people are seen as a problem that must be solved, not individuals.

  22. enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing:)

  23. Andy – very glad you are asking patients about what is meaningful. As a patient it is extremely important to me that my physician knows me and what is important in my life. Someday I will be incapacitated. I will need my physician to be my advocate in making decisions that will affect my quality of life. If he/she does not know what is important to me they, as wonderful as they are as clinicians, will not be the advocate I need. My physician knows that running and being physically active is important to me and that I will follow an excruciating physical rehabilitation to be able to stay active. If he/she did not know that a less desirable outcome may be chosen in that emergency. Thanks for understanding how knowing what is important to your patients affects the choices and recommendations you make for their care :)

  24. Hi Emily! I have read on our student manual that we have peer tutoring but I never figured out how to contact a peer tutor. Do you think you can give me some info about that? :)

  25. Great post. Thanks for sharing your world with all of us.

  26. Ahh, thanks for the correction! It makes sense now, Lord Byron having a thing for royalty.

    I do have it on good authority, however, that Jack Kerouac loved Rocky Road.

    And with that, goodnight!

  27. Great post. Thank you for your leadership. Good food and safe neighborhoods. Yep! We can all contribute to that outcome.

  28. This is awesome Andy, Great point!

  29. Little known fact – it was Byron who was the Dairy Queen lover. Shelley preferred Cold Stone. No joke :-) Enjoyed your poem!

  30. David – I normally don’t care for poetry, it’s usually just cleverly (?) jumbled words that seem only to have meaning to the poet. But in this case, I believe you expressed something that has meaning to me, too. Great! (and I am not his mom or dad!)

  31. Another well written piece Kayly. Thank you for contributing.

  32. What a whirlwind to pack into one post! The second year of graduate education is THE WORST! The novelty has worn off, and the qualifying exams are like nothing you have encountered before. I’m thrilled that you have come through still excited about your ability to discover new things, there is nothing uncertain about that!

  33. Thanks for writing, you make me want to get out and run! :-)

  34. Great pictures & inspiring article, Kirsten – thanks!

  35. It’s always sufficient to have an intercultural supports and services to non English speaking population(s). I agree with Shabnam, I have been working at Inercultural Psychiatric Program (IPP) at OHSU for 20 years, and this program has served up to 17 languages with bilingual and trilingual counselors, who are well trained in mental health, and this has been so effective with much successful outcomes.

  36. Thank you for talking on this important topic. Thrilled to hear about the event in March! Are you connected to the Intercultural Communication Institute (based in Beaverton) – a community of some of the best trainers/coaches/educators on Intercultural Communication. The surely could be a great resource. I imagine you already know Riikka Salonen (Manager of Workforce Equity and Inclusion at OHSU) – she has an intercultural training background. Keep up the great work and thanks for finding the time to write this amid your crazy schedule.

  37. Well said! Thanks for sharing your post.

  38. This is so interesting! Great article. I appreciate our interpreters so much!

  39. Thank you for your kind words! I look forward to sharing more stories with you in the near future.

  40. I loved reading about your perspective :) Thanks for sharing!

  41. Thanks for so eloquently putting into words what that first day is like! Truly. Hang in there!

  42. What a wonderful book that is! I read Fadiman years before I came to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which holds a not-dissimilar theme. Dare I say I preferred the former? It may even be time to reread it — thank you!

  43. Welcome to StudentSpeak!. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of your stories!

  44. Thanks, Shabnam. It’s fascinating to read about the family member and provider perspectives in an intercultural setting — and you’ve had both!

  45. Thank you for sharing such a life-confirming story. It’s nice to know your education is synching up with life.

  46. I love the idea of “learn one thing that no one else knows” about the people in our lives. It is in this way we relate more to those around us; sharing, compassion, empathy and growth begins — relationships are enhanced. Thank you, Joanna, for your thoughts!

  47. It’s always fascinating to witness the gradual transition that occurs as students become physicians. Thanks for sharing this story.

  48. I agree! Story-telling is powerful. Thank you for this well written post.

  49. Thank you for your kind comments!

  50. What an amazing and thoughtful thing to do to honor those who allow us to learn as students. I’m really touched. Thank you for sharing!



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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