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Reflections from the USD SSOM Fellowship Class of 2021

Am I Enough?

Lauren VanHove

Fellow, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, 2021

I am always asking myself whether I am doing enough for my career field and community. Then I find myself in the toxic position where I am comparing what I am doing with what others have done based on a resume, and my mind always puts me in last place. But as I get further along into the clinical rotations of medical school, I have had interactions with patients that make me realize that I need to remind myself that lines on a resume do not equate to what I contribute to the world. Each day we have the opportunity to change a person’s day or even their life. Whether that is just through a kind conversation, listening to someone describe their feelings after the loss of a loved one, being cognizant of cost to the patient, taking a few extra minutes to help a patient get the resources they need, or advocating for a child. These actions are not lines on a resume, but certainly make you a health equity warrior. Take a moment to step back and realize that you are enough because each day you do make a difference.

Unconscious Bias

Mahum Shahid, MD

Fellow, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, 2021

A concept I recently came across. Fascinating how the human mind works in forming patterns by what we see everyday in lives or on media, and then imposing these patterns on other circumstances/people so that we can work more swiftly. As it turns out, we are unconsciously stereotyping scenarios/people and developing a tendency to make biased decisions even without knowing it. And when we fail to recognize these acquired patterns in our behaviors, we fall prey to another cognitive bias, the “blind-spot bias”. A note to myself would be to be more mindful of these biases and to always double check myself while making medical, professional and personal decisions, especially in the diverse and multidimensional world of today.

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