CCLCM held its sixth Story Slam Medical Student Edition program on March 24 — this time via Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-anticipated event — the event typically is held in the fall but was postponed because of the pandemic — attracted more than 100 attendees, including students and faculty.
The program’s special guest was Dora-Linda Wang, MD, MA, author of “The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist’s Reflections on Healing in a Changing World,” which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Wang read from her book, spoke of her career as physician healer and offered writing advice to the students.
“Story Slam was a tremendous effort by the students, and the presentations were phenomenal,” says Bud Isaacson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Executive Dean of CCLCM. “Dr. Wang said it was the best evening she’d had this year. I offer my congratulations to all of the participants.”
This year’s event was organized by CCLCM students Samyukta Dore (‘24), Abdelrahman Rahmy (’24) and Angie Wei (’24). “I attended the event last year and found it to be an amazing event, with moving personal stories and incredible ambience, and I wanted to help facilitate and organize the event for this year,” says Angie.
“My co-organizers and I began to plan for a virtual event. We were initially a bit worried about turnout, but we ended up getting an excellent turnout of over 100 attendees,” says Angie. “A silver lining of the virtual nature of the event was that it became accessible to a greater number of students and faculty.”
The theme of the event was “A Night on Identity,” and many of this year’s speakers related stories influenced by events that have shaped the past year, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial/civil unrest in the country. Other stories spoke of the students’ encounters with especially memorable patients, which offered a glimpse into their futures as physicians.
The evening’s performers included:
• Shadi Mehrabi (‘21)
• Chineme Onwukbueke (‘25)
• William Patterson (‘25)
• Joan Nambuba (‘22)
• Perry Dinardo (‘21)
• Briana Prager (‘22)
• Razaq Durodoye (University Program)
• Kevin Zhai (University Program)
• Lillian Sun (’21)
As the presentations unfolded, the chat notes section filled with a stream of plaudits and kudos from the viewers. “What makes these stories so fascinating is that they are all unique experiences lived by the speaker, but which many of us can relate to on an emotional and personal level,” says Angie. “I believe that is what makes storytelling so compelling, and why we all feel closer and more connected with one another afterwards.”
The event was funded by Leonard Calabrese, DO, Professor of Medicine, and underwritten by the CCLCM Office of the Executive Dean (Bud Isaacson, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Executive Dean) and the R.J. Fasenmeyer Center for Clinical Immunology. Administrative and planning support for the CCLCM student coordinators was provided by Katherine Burke, MFA, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine.