UH Med Now

Compassion in medicine week includes saluting veterans, emphasizing “Hate has no place here,” and more

Date: February 14th, 2019 in Student Life    Print or PDF

Pictured: MD 2019 candidates Emily Jones, Megan Sumida and Aaron Suzuka holding messages they shared on social media during “Solidarity” week, with the theme “Hate has no place here”.

University of Hawai’i medical students in the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) have spent all week in “Solidarity.” Solidarity Week events are one way GHHS chapters around the country celebrate their dedication to ensuring compassionate; patient-centered care. Our students baked cookies and then delivered the treats to nurses and hospital staff as a way of saying, “Thank you for letting us be your medical students.” (ANOTHER SURE SIGN WE ARE A COMMUNITY-BASED MEDICAL SCHOOL AND PROUD OF IT!)

In addition to “Mahalo” labels on each bag of home-made cookies, there were messages that read, “To the medical staff: As medical students, we see the work you do and we are inspired by it. From carefully encouraging a patient to take one more step to gentle conversations about medications, you are our roles models for patient care. Thank you for your patience and your advice. Thank you for treating us like we matter, even on our first rotations when we felt so lost. When we become physicians, we will continue to look back on the examples you set and hope to serve with the same enthusiasm, compassion, and respect for human dignity.

Mahalo Cookies held by GHHS members 2019 Celina Hayashi and Florence Kan, members of the MD Class of 2019.

Mahalo Cookies held by GHHS members Celina Hayashi and Florence Kan, members of the MD Class of 2019.

Student holding signs that say "Love Wins" and "All are welcome here"

Faculty sponsor Dr. Damon Lee (JABSOM MD 1999) joins the GHHS members in sharing the messages that read “Love wins” and “All are welcome here.”

They also made signs they posed with and shared on social media sending a clear message that JABSOM and every place they provide care as future physicians are safe spaces filled with love and compassion regardless of race, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, disease state, language, religion. Messages that reinforce that good healthcare (and health education) is incompatible with hate of any form.

They started the week, by the way, making all of us feel proud by pledging — and asking others to pledge — to always ask about a Veteran patient’s military experience in each new encounter and simply thank them for their service. Learn more at the Veterans Gold Health Initiative.

They also scheduled small, student-run discussions on human moments in health care on Friday night, February 15 in Medical Education Building Room 304 beginning at 5:30 p.m. And they are collecting necessities for the houseless.

The students are writing essays on the meaning of humanism in medicine, too. GHHS member and 2019 MD Candidate Jonathan Cheng shared a bit of his with us. “Humanism and medicine go hand in hand. Too often is medicine thought of as cutting-edge science that involves years of study and advanced technology. I am grateful that in my training to become a physician that people have deemed it valuable to instill in me the idea that medicine is the intersection of science AND art. Sure, science gives us a pool of knowledge to draw from, but the art if medicine is what enables us to skillfully and appropriately apply the knowledge to the healing of a patient. Humanism factors into medicine in many ways, but primarily in consideration of the two stakeholders, healer and patient. Healers must recognize and respect every patients’ humanity, and healers must also maintain their own humanity. Medicine functions at its highest capacity when both the patient and the healer’s humanity is valued.”

JABSOM MD students, we will say it again, you are our SUPERHEROS in training!

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