About a month in, working as a research assistant in a pancreatic cancer laboratory, some of my Polymerase Chain Reactions for a specific gene were not working. My boss told me that I my DNA extraction probably was not clean enough, or not enough DNA was properly extracted. Though I felt a little disheartened, I asked if I could watch him do it the next time so I could see the correct way to do it. He agreed, and I was able to perform the extraction correctly from then on. He showed me how to correctly spot the DNA in the extraction tube as to not lose it with the washing steps. This proved pivotal and the rest of my extractions were perfectly clean without any contamination or too little DNA.
In the past month at my job as a clinical research assistant for Great Lakes Medical Research, the CEO of a study company called complaining that we were screen failing too many patients. I delicately explained that the reason the patients were screen failing was the IRB approved questionnaire in which their protocol said the patient will fill it out (instead of the doctor). The CEO tried to convince me that I, a study coordinator for the study, should fill out the questionnaire based on the patient's answers, but change them where I see fit (so the patient would not screen fail). After he yelled and tried every which way to convince me, I could not be budged and after the phone call went to my supervisor to explain the problem. I knew that it was my responsibility to report this because this not only affected patient safety but also my own.
For my organization, Survivor: Time & Change, we scheduled a fire-making challenge for the contestants a night where it started to thunder, lightening, and pour. With only an hour until the challenge, we had to come up with an entirely new challenge, a new challenge location, as well as reserve any needed supplies and the location. As a group, we split up into teams, one solely dedicated to the challenge and supplies and another for locating a classroom and booking it. At first, we felt extremely pressured by the time restraint, but as we worked together and just took a collective deep breathe, we significantly improved. In that time span, we booked a perfect challenge location, purchased all of the necessary supplies, and came up with an entirely, new, never-seen-before immunity challenge which was one of our contestants' favorites. By assigning tasks to each member, discussing our options, and making decisions as a group instead of individuals, we were able to implement an excellent, exciting challenge.
Yes. During final tribal council of Season 2: Our Honor Defend (Survivor: Time & Change), our president got extremely worked up about having to move the planned location. The Ohio State band had an unscheduled practice at the field behind the location so the film quality was terrible. Instead of problem solving and working to come to a solution, he commenced yelling, blaming me for not looking who booked the field, and upsetting the production crew members. I first pulled him away from the other members of our organization and let him complain and tell me his doubts about moving the challenge location. After emphasizing with him, I strategized on how to improve our situation, hearing out all of his ideas and brainstorming until we came to a mutual solution. I remained calm and collected, never raised my voice to him, and kept reassuring him that we would find a location. After the agreement, I distracted him, setting up camera shots in the new location and asking him to continuously check them, keeping his mind and body at ease and continuously working.
What I would do differently: I would go up to him right when I saw him start to break down. instead of continuously verbally trying to calm him down and appease him- I would use a "distract tactic" like I did by showing him how the camera angles all worked and looked beautifully. How the stained glass in the background with the football player perfectly described our season. I would put him right to work helping me set up and benefit our situation. Actions do speak louder than words.
The greatest challenge I ever faced was when one of my close friends committed suicide my junior year of high school. No one was expecting it, he was the valedictorian, soccer captain, and one of the most genuine, caring friends. The hardest part about this was looking back and thinking what could I have done to prevent this. At the time, I knew nothing of the signs or symptoms of depression or even how to identify someone going through a crisis. To overcome this, I read books and blogs, watched YouTube videos, called help lines, eventually gaining the confidence that I could handle such a situation at least enough to get the proper healthcare professionals involved. Essentially, I became adept at perceiving the signs and symptoms of depression so I could step in and offer a caring, benevolent hand to anyone I could see needing it.
While I do get stressed, as everyone does, I never lose control or lose my temper. When I do get stressed, I distance myself emotionally from the situation, take a deep breath, and think through the situation, writing out the potential courses of action. For instance, when I am crunched for time and have to complete a multitude of things, instead of getting frustrated and disheartened, I strategize, plan out what needs to get done and when, and methodically run through the formulated checklist to not overwhelm myself.
During college in an engineering writing class, I was part of a group project where we were required to draft a funding proposal for a community engineering project. While I thought it would be more hands-on and entertaining to the class to do a Prezi, the rest of my group members wanted to do a pamphlet. Though I expressed my hesitancies about the fact that majority of the other groups would do the same, the rest of my group thought that it would be the best way to convey the information. After advocating for my idea, I went along with the group and put my best foot forward in creating a well-thought out, interesting pamphlet to enthrall the class. If we were able to redo the situation, I would have tried to compromise with the group. We could have potentially done both if we split up the work and assigned more direct, different tasks to each member. We could have created a longer timeline which would have allowed for both to be completed.
Unless this is part of a clinical research trial, as a physician, we are trained in evidence based medicine and we are obligated to be honest with our patients. If the treatment was a placebo, then I would let the patient know and encourage another treatment that does have evidence to support it. If a patient was seeing success with a treatment that I did not believe was effective, I would be happy that they have found something that works for them and will do additionnal research with it. I would then encouage additional treatment with something that has evidence to back it up as well. However, if I knew of potential harmful side effects of their homeopathic medication then I would encourage them to not take it anymore.
Describe a time in your life when you had to tell someone a hard truth. What did you learn from the experience?When working as a student-athlete tutor at my university, I provided my pre-medicine tutees with advice about scheduling, performing well in pre-medicine classes, and preparing for medical school and the MCAT while being their friend and working toward this goal with them. I had one student who struggled in all of his pre-medicine classes, especially organic chemistry. His poor grades needed to drastically improve if he wanted to go to medical school right after college. While being supportive and comforting, I needed to be honest with him that he had a low chance of matriculating right away unless he took a gap year and potentially chose to do a masters program. I took the time with him to work out a schedule so he could get more tutoring in his pre-medicine classes, created a goal sheet with him so he could start working to improve his resume, and showed him resources which could help him improve his MCAT potential. Though it was an extremely difficult conversation, I had an obligation as his tutor to be honest and to help him achieve his goal. Through working together and creating a schedule to complete his goals, we created a timeline which could work for him and allow him to hopefully attend medical school.How does having a conflict with an authority figure differ from having a conflict with one of your peers.Though the conflict differs because of the authority figure having more power in the situation, the way to approach the two different conflicts remain the same. Acting professionally and calmly communicating is always a must. The first step in any conflict should be emphasizing and hearing the other person out in order to see and understand their perspective. The next step would be to strategize with the person on how to resolve the conflict, offering respectfully your points as well as theirs to come to a solution together. In order to do so, you should approach the conflict with humility as well as calmly and with open ears.
While some conflict is unnecessary, I do not agree that no one should engage in conflict. Without conflict individuals would never be able to learn how to compromise or how to work together. Though conflict can be difficult it is needed to help us grow as we learn from other people who are not like us. Additionally, if individuals never address conflict at the time it occurs then it could lead to people bottling up their emotions and cause destructive situations when eventually discussed.Time I failedAs a freshman going to one of the biggest schools in the nation and coming from a small town with a graduating class of 100, I wanted to experience absolutely everything- from the football games to pre-medicine clubs to honors and scholars activities. I was the stereotypical small town girl overwhelmed on a big campus. Because of my over-commitment and desire to do absolutely everything, my freshman year general chemistry grade fell. There was too much on my plate and I did not dedicate time to such a challenging class. The next year for organic chemistry, I came in with a new mind set and decided to attack the class from a new angle. Right in the beginning I got a tutor through my Office of Diversity and Inclusion program and commenced going to office hours every other week. This early preparation set me up for a great start. I then dedicated more time to creating notecards and my famous "OChem Totem," which even my friends utilized to study for exams. The major change which helped me succeed was changing my mindset for the class. I turned all of the questions into solvable puzzles allowing me to truly enjoy solving each question. With my mindset changed and allotting more time for the class, I received an A in the class, as well as a recommendation letter from the professor.Worked with others unlike myselfWhen I first walked into the training session at Equitas Health, I picked up a name card that said, "Hi my name is ___, and my pronouns are ___." I had never introduced myself with my appropriate pronouns before and had never even heard of this method before this. During the session, I met a plethora of different members of the LGBTQ+ community, HIV+ people, unemployed and people who had not graduated high school. Though we all came from different walks of life, we all were united under the same cause- to give whatever we could to a minority, at risk community in LGBTQ+ and injection drug user patients. I took careful consideration from then on to always ask someones name as well as their pronouns which will help me make my future patients more comfortable allowing me to provide better care.EXAMPLEAt this point, I need to remain objective, non judgmental, and not jump to any conclusions based on my primary observations. I do not want to assume that ___ is being irresponsible and unprofessional by ____. It could turn out that ____. But it could also turn out that __ and for that reason I want to speak with the person in a private setting to gather more information as I'm concerned about ___. I won't confront the person in an accusatory or rude manner.
Problem, perspective, responsibility, decide, justify- DO NOT ASSUMEHow to Break Bad News1.) Private, what the patient wants/who should be there, ask about well being
2.) ask how much the patient knows about their illness/situation
3.) ask how much the patient wants to know- only use relevant information, keep it simple so that the patient can understand, put info forward in small chunks, ask if they have questions (dont use big words)
4.) emphasize, console
5.) plan and follow throughEnd of Life ScenarioGoals:
1.) control pain, physical symptoms- spiritual issue tell them what you can do to help them
2.) involve people important to the patients, social circle
3.) help patient understand what is going on, what will happen- allow them to be realistic
4.) medical understanding to people within their circle- family dont eradicate hope but make it reasonable
5.) give them a timeline, coordinate efforts, show them that you careInformed Consent1.) nature of decision/procedure
2.) alternative to proposed intervention
3.) risks, benefits, uncertainties
4.) patient understanding
5.) acceptance of intervention by patientInformed Consent for ChildrenThe primary responsibility of the physician is the well-being of the child- if the parental decision places the childat risk of harm then further action may be indicated- legal avenues may be taken if there is no agreement.VaccinationChildhood vaccination provides an example of the kinds of factors that must be weighed in making this determination. While most physicians believe it is in a child's best interest to receive the routine childhood vaccinations and therefore recommend them to parents, they do not generally legally challenge parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. This is because in a well-vaccinated community the risk of contracting the vaccine-preventable illness and suffering harmful consequences from the infection are quite small. However, this calculation might shift if a clinician is faced with an unvaccinated child who has suffered a puncture would from a dirty nail. In the latter case, the risk of tetanus (a serious and almost always fatal disease if not prevented) has become significant, and the provider would be justified in seeking the power of the State (through a court order or involvement of child protective services) to assure that the child receives the vaccination and treatment necessary to prevent tetanus in a high risk situation.STEPS1) REMAIN OBJECTIVE, NON-JUDGMENTAL, DO NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS
2) Private convo to gather all of the facts, NON-ACCUSATORY OR RUDE MANNER
3) Concern for wellbeing and safety of all involved
4) I will act accordingly based on the evidence
5) No further action OR I'm obligated to report to authorities
6) The decision I make will solely be based on the evidence and my expertise, and not based on personal backgrounds
7) Consult colleagues, supervisor, literature
8) Those involved