Med Students & Residents: Start with Yourselves - U of U School of Medicine
Sep 30, 2019 10:00 AM
Darrell Kirch, MD, encourages future medical leaders to bring their best selves to clinical work and teamwork.
Approximately 75 medical students, residents, faculty, and staff packed the Alumni Hall at the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) for a lunchtime question and answer session with special guest Darrell G. Kirch, MD, President Emeritus, Association of American Medical Colleges.
Most in attendance were students, interested in Kirch’s views on the future of medical-based education programs, student debt, and more. Striking up an amicable rapport, Kirch carefully considered a wide range of questions on topics such as shifting residency caps, national healthcare policy, funding needs/loan disbursement, insurance, and aging populations in need of care.
He made a special point to gather audience insight on medical school applications and residency requirements, acknowledging the intense worry of scoring highly and making it into desired specialties. He asked students to think critically about the current application process and implications of changing scoring criteria.
Kirch set an inspiring tone for his remarks, repeatedly encouraging students to focus on personal strengths and integrity to create positive change in their fields.
“Knowledge is individual, and valuable,” he explained. “Focus on what you can personally bring to the table.”
Kirch urged students to be active in their education and thoughtful in their professional pathways. Responding to a question on competition among specialty areas, he called for focus on becoming part of a team and building an effective force to get the job done and done well.
“As physicians, we promise to ‘do no harm’,” Kirch said. “Go into health care with the desire to make a personal difference in the system—and lives of patients—through proper management and team building. Find the best path to get there.”
Toward the end of his time with the group, Kirch spoke to more personal issues facing medical professionals. Regarding his hopes for the next generation of physicians, Kirch counseled the audience to not become cynical. Instead, he prompted students to exercise their ethics, be engaged, and learn to proactively challenge the status quo of habitual medical practices and systems.
Kirch shared personal insight on the reality of pressure, mental health, and burnout within the medical community, relating deeply to the experiences of those in the room.
“Physicians often set the expectation that they’re the one caring for others,” he said. “Reframe your vision to include care of yourself. Work to remove the stigma [of mental health challenges] for yourself and others. Get help so you’re able to keep giving what you have to offer.”
Students nodded appreciatively, finishing the session with earnest applause, and hearty thanks to the speaker.
Aaron LovellPhone: 801-587-1082