Posted on Categories Clinical Training Experience, Cross-cultural Experience, Host InstitutionTags ,

Supporting International Medical Graduates in Minnesota

Dr. Svatava Merkle
Dr. Ayse Irem Sonmez

By Dr. Svatava Merkle, Dr. Ayse Irem Sonmez, Dr. Tolulope Odebunmi, and Dr. Mats Steffi Jennifer Masilamani

We are a group of four International Medical Graduates (IMGs) training at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine: Dr. Svatava Merkle, a PGY-3 from the Czech Republic specializing in pediatrics; Dr. Ayse Irem Sonmez, a PGY-3 from Turkey specializing in psychiatry; Dr. Toulope Odebunmi, a PGY-4 from Nigeria also specializing in psychiatry; and Dr. Mats Steffi Jennifer Masilamani, a PGY-4 from India specializing in pediatric cardiology.

Continue reading “Supporting International Medical Graduates in Minnesota”

Posted on Categories Clinical Training Experience, Cross-cultural ExperienceTags , , , ,

The Dilemma of End-of-Life Discussions

By Dr. Om Parkash

Since the beginning of the 21st century, palliative care has emerged as a prominent aspect of medicine. Palliative care focuses mostly on improving the quality of life in severely ill patients, but it also involves comfort-based care for terminally ill patients. Despite increased awareness of palliative care among health care providers, decisions made in respect to end-of-life treatment are often difficult because they can be subjective.

Continue reading “The Dilemma of End-of-Life Discussions”

Posted on Categories Cross-cultural Experience, Words of WisdomTags , , , ,

Translation in Transition: The Story of an IMG

By Dr. Ahmad Mahdi

Dear fellow international medical graduates (IMGs):

We, like our U.S.-graduate counterparts, are hardworking and highly resilient in our pursuit of residency. We are all excited yet daunted by the prospect of transitioning from medical school to internship, as this new phase brings increased responsibility and autonomy. We all rush to meet deadlines and gather stack upon stack of required paperwork to jump off the page and qualify for selection. However, IMGs often face unique obstacles that we must overcome in preparation for and as we matriculate in our residencies in the United States. For example, as a Lebanese applicant, I was faced with regular electricity outages, civil rights movements interrupting my normal workflow, and severe financial limitations due to the fastest rate of hyperinflation in modern history in my country. I had to embrace instability and uncertainty and always aim to thrive from within the chaos. I am certain that many of my fellow IMGs faced similar challenges in their efforts to begin residency in the United States. Especially in this time of the pandemic, we all dealt with some level of economic and political instability in our homelands, not to mention the multiple waves of quarantine, uncertainty, and fear. If you are going through this process now, I send you a message of strength: you will persevere.

Continue reading “Translation in Transition: The Story of an IMG”

Posted on Categories My Story, Words of WisdomTags , , ,

Fear, Prayer, and the Unknown: First-time Parenthood in a Pandemic

By Dr. Muhammad Ismail Khalid Yousaf

“Did you see any COVID-19 patients today?” my wife nervously asked as I entered our home. I was clad in an N-95 mask for the first time. “Not yet” I replied.

My mask and her concerns were well-warranted; we were about to be first-time parents, and she was in her last trimester. Our relatives and friends would routinely ask, “When is your gift from God coming?” and we always cautiously replied, “Anytime now, just pray—you know how times are….”

Continue reading “Fear, Prayer, and the Unknown: First-time Parenthood in a Pandemic”

Posted on Categories My Story, Post J-1 ExperienceTags , ,

Coping with Personal Grief as a COVID-19 Physician

By Dr. Kumar Ashish

We’ve lost so many lives over the past two years. As a physician working at a hospital since the beginning of it, I have witnessed the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This global crisis has resulted in worldwide lockdowns, the economic collapse of countries, and universally rising mortality and morbidity. Although the first wave of the pandemic came with the most uncertainty, it was the second wave that resulted in the most personally disruptive time of my life. It brought a multitude of issues to my home country, India. Due to a lack of resources, the healthcare system there collapsed under the pressures of the second wave.

Continue reading “Coping with Personal Grief as a COVID-19 Physician”