Donating a Body Lets the Tree of Physicians Thrive–My Donor Memorial Service Speech

As I am sure you know, we take exams. We take patient histories. We may or may not go to class. We study… a lot.

Before all of this, however, we were newly inducted first year medical students, and Dr. Slaby introduced our class to our very first patients. They would become our best study buddies. While he spoke to us and explained how class would work, I thought about their families—you.

Wow, I thought.

How heroic.

How generous during a time of mourning could a family support a donor’s decision to help medical students. I thank our donors, and I thank you. You have helped create the next generation of physicians, us. (more…)

From Bonaventure to GWU–My transition and passion for the schools

My hands shook. My eyes welled. My neurons fired in directions I had never before felt.

My smile consumed my entire face.

I held my acceptance letter to the St. Bonaventure University/ The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences dual-degree, B.S./M.D. program. At the age of 17, I had a conditional seat in the most-applied-to medical school in the country. With my Bonnie pride and medical school excitement, I signed the necessary documents.

The letters M.D. after my name–my dream becoming a reality. (more…)

The ultimate medical school study break–Skydiving

“Did I tell everybody I love them?” Daniel Gaballa worried as he drove over two hours away from his medical school.

He turned into a long driveway leading to a few white buildings. With farmland on both sides of the car, Gaballa and his friends could see until the horizon.

The Mayan predictions did not concern him at the moment. His world—not the whole world—could end today.

Days before, Gaballa’s classmates had given him persuasive speeches to join the adventurous group. If he missed this experience, he would regret it, and he could not act scared in front of girls, he thought.

His 14,000-foot drop made him question whether his last day had arrived.

On November 10, 2012, 16 first year medical students at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences drove to Laurel, Del., to cross an item of their bucket lists.

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17 medical students (16 from GWU SMHS) go skydiving in Laurel, Del.

 Skydiving.

(more…)

I met, perhaps, the best study buddy.

I have seen dead bodies before. Two of my grandparents had open caskets. I have previously visited two cadaver labs—once during a medical school tour and once visiting a friend at medical school.

Similar to seeing my grandparents, I feel a pull into the lab to see the cadaver I will soon dissect. (more…)

The new chapter of my life arrives.

Buzzz. My cheeks and tongue slightly itch as my toothbrush vibrates mintiness into every crevasse. My time to shut up and check off my mental packing list.

I turn my head and start with the shower. Razor? Check. Soap? Check. Towel? Check–perhaps the hardest thing to forget when my destination has a pool.

I ease my eyes to the counter in front of me, avoiding to bend my head so foamy drool won’t crawl down my shirt. This would not be the first time…

Cotton swabs? Floss? Nail polish–probably wouldn’t be the worst idea. Retainer? All checks galore.

Spit. Rinse. My father awakens from my ringing faucet, a perfectly timed alarm clock.

Who doesn’t forget at least something when traveling? If it were a snake, it would have bitten me. Of course my toothbrush and charger.

Zip. Zip. Lock. Lift. Ugh. Wheel.

These past eight months allowed my bucket list to take charge, and, wow, do I have things to write about. Now, let me find the time…

Meanwhile, time to move. Here I go!

Me at my new school!

Non-Catholic students at SBU talk about practicing religion.

The nacho table in the Hickey Memorial Dining Hall instantly grabs Mahmuda’s attention. After waiting in a line full of hungry students, she finally gets her chance to fill her bowl. She piles cheese, salsa, tomatoes and sour cream onto her corn chips and heads back to her table.

Placing her nachos on the lunch table, Mahmuda holds her cardigan close to the middle of her chest, hiding the shirt she wears underneath, and sits down to munch.

After she finishes her chips, Mahmuda passes by the food stations, looking to satisfy her hunger.

A plate piled high with specially made chicken nuggets cools off near the grill, waiting for her, specifically her, to snatch them.

“Come on, guys! Eat!” Mahmuda offers her secret stash of nuggets to her table of friends.

Gary, an Aramark employee who works in the Hickey, catches up to Mahmuda at her table and apologizes because someone took the second plate of chicken nuggets he made for her.

Mahmuda does not mind, but why does she get to order chicken nuggets whenever she wants? (more…)

Cotton swabs, phone calls and saving lives

Scott glances at his phone for incoming texts during class and sees an unfamiliar number calling him.

“A Florida area code?” he thinks to himself.

Ignoring the call but keeping his phone on his lap, a white blinking light catches his already curious eye. Before opening the e-mail, he sees “Important message from Gift…”

He feels his heart beating faster.

And faster.

Is he a match?

Can he save someone’s life?

He opens the e-mail and sees that he could be a potential bone marrow match for a man with lymphoma. (more…)

Mackowski does more than just teach.

Pens contact paper throughout the room as the professor explains the next assignment, a personality profile.

Fine.

About the professor who will read and grade the story you write…

Oh.

Narcissist. This professor must really love himself to read 16 stories about him. (more…)

Brooke preps for her piano recital

Brooke Blazius hunches over from her backpack overstuffed with biology notebooks. She’s not headed to lab now, though. Instead, she darts towards a room with the only one piece of furniture—a piano. (more…)

Some students fantasize instead of study.

Scott adds dashes of rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes to his marinating chicken pieces for lunch. He stirs the ingredients in a pan on the hot electric coils of his stove, tossing some pasta into the mix.

The chef returns to his kitchen hours later, standing in front of the stove once again. His townhouse now filled with nine other men, they expect the best out of him as they all stare at their laptop screens.

The stove coils slowly heat up though never reaching a temperature hot enough to cook. However, the competitive fire in the room warms the area.

The timer counts down on the computers… 3, 2, 1.

This timer does not indicate a cooked meal, though. Instead, a voice echoes from the laptops. “Are you ready to get started? 2011 NFL draft is officially open.”

With his laptop roaring and battery continuing to warm his stovetop desk, Scott Wozer the chef becomes the manager of Laces Out.

The fantasy football draft begins. (more…)

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