Friday, December 20All content © Gia Merlo, MD, MBA
“Boundaries as a Medical Observer in Cases of Medical Crisis” by Zane Peng

“Boundaries as a Medical Observer in Cases of Medical Crisis” by Zane Peng

Reflections
Zane is a pre-medical student studying Biochemistry, Philosophy, and Mathematics at Rice University. Typically, you can probably find him at the BRC doing research on alkene reactions and developing in vivo imaging methods. In his spare time, Zane volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House and the Memorial Hermann hospital; in addition, he also tries to find time to play some tennis and read. In this reflection, Zane reflects on a controversial moral dilemma Dr. Merlo brought up in class. In essence, should we, as medical observers, follow an attending physician’s order and medically intervene during an operation emergency? —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA Looking back at this week, I felt Dr. Merlo really stirred up some controversial feelings within me as she presented to us several moral dilemmas. O
“AI as a Tool to Augment Diagnoses and Treatment” by Trenton Roy

“AI as a Tool to Augment Diagnoses and Treatment” by Trenton Roy

Reflections
Trenton Roy is a junior pre-medical student majoring in biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. His genuine compassion and interest in helping others are the impetus for his commitment to being a positive force in our society. In his spare time, he volunteers to help students in underserved communities to enjoy and embrace science. When he is not working with teams of Rice undergraduates on chemistry demonstrations, he is conducting medicinal chemistry research with his research team in the James M. Tour Lab at Rice University. Trenton looks forward to connecting with people. In the reflection below, he considers the power of personal connections and the role of artificial intelligence in patient care. - Gia Merlo, MD, MBA Artificial intelligence and other novel computer scie...
“Empathy vs Sympathy” by Daniel Zhong

“Empathy vs Sympathy” by Daniel Zhong

Reflections
Daniel Zhong is a pre-medical sophomore at Rice University, majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Statistics. In addition to his studies, he enjoys listening to music and exploring Houston food culture. He is part of Rice’s Campanile Orchestra, in which he plays the cello. In his spare time, Daniel acts as an Academic Fellow for his residential college, where he tutors students in organic chemistry and statistics. He is also currently involved with Rice’s on-campus EMS organization, for which he hopes to serve in its duty crew soon. Daniel wrote this reflection for Medical Professionalism after a discussion about empathy. In it, he explores his own experience with empathy and how that concept might be different from sympathy in a medical context.  —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA Empathy and symp
“First Impressions and First Lessons” by Katherine Cohen

“First Impressions and First Lessons” by Katherine Cohen

Reflections
Katherine Cohen is a second-semester sophomore student majoring in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and minoring in Politics, Law, & Social Thought. She has always had a passion for helping others through tutoring or volunteering, and she hopes to follow this passion into the medical field. Her dream of becoming a practicing physician was cemented last summer during a medical volunteer trip to Honduras where she volunteered with Global Brigades at a clinic. Here, she worked in triage, pharmacy, and optometry stations, but most importantly she felt firsthand the unparalleled reward of helping people through hard times. She is currently taking Dr. Gia Merlo’s Medical Professionalism class to help become a more thoughtful and well-rounded pre-medical student. When she is not studying for h
“Finding Happiness” by Flora Park

“Finding Happiness” by Flora Park

Reflections
Flora Park is a pre-medical student studying Biochemistry at Rice University. In her spare time, Flora conducts research at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School, studying new methods of treating glioblastomas with the oncolytic HSV virus. As a passionate EMT, Flora is also involved with Rice EMS and provides prehospital care for Rice students in need. In the article below, Flora reflects on her time as a student devoted to medicine and comments on how to maintain one's own happiness in a field dedicated to service. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA This week, Dr. Merlo talked to our medical professionalism class about happiness and the hedonic treadmill. She mentioned an experiment that was done on a rat, in which scientists connected electrodes to a rat’s brain that stimulated the rat’s reward
“Physicians need to make their happiness a priority” by Sofia Russo

“Physicians need to make their happiness a priority” by Sofia Russo

Reflections
Sofia Russo is a junior pre-medical student studying Psychology and Biochemistry at Rice University.  She is passionate about community outreach, particularly in underserved populations, and performs research on the neurobiology of attachment relationships at Baylor College of Medicine.  She is also active in the Rice Alzheimer's Buddies program as Publicity Chair and has held several positions within her residential college, including coordinator of housing arrangements for the entire college.  In this reflection, Sofia evaluates the importance of current and future physicians taking care of themselves before they take care of patients. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA Infinite.  That’s the term used by Dr. Merlo to describe medicine – infinite knowledge at the tips of our fingers, infinite patient
“Happiness” by Alice Gong

“Happiness” by Alice Gong

Reflections
Alice Gong is a sophomore student at Rice University majoring in Biological Sciences. She is passionate about art and its connection with medicine. She is involved with Rice Arts in Medicine, which uses art to relieve stress in patients. As the head of workshops for the Rice Art Club, she enjoys hosting art events for Rice students. In the following article, she evaluates the difficulty of maintaining goals while being content with the present and describes her plan to eventually achieve this mindset. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA I was walking out of my medical professionalism class, again feeling slightly confused and lost. After spending two weeks learning about some of the less glamorous sides of medicine, I was unsure if I still wanted to pursue a career as a physician. “I wish I could jus
“Physician Responsibilities Go Beyond Just Patients” by Paulina Truong

“Physician Responsibilities Go Beyond Just Patients” by Paulina Truong

Reflections
Paulina Truong is a pre-medical student studying neuroscience at Rice University. She devotes her time to research in computational neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, where she develops analytic methods for functional MRI data. She is also the head Rice Health Advisor for her residential college, where she serves as a peer resource as well as a liaison between students and well-being resources on and off campus. In this reflection, Paulina evaluates how her role as a future physician impacts more than just the health of her future patients. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA In preparation for the first full day of lecture, we were instructed to read a couple selected articles about unprofessional conduct in the medical field. The main takeaways that I had were the stark realities of physician
“Cultural Competency” by Candise Tat

“Cultural Competency” by Candise Tat

Reflections
Candise Tat is a premedical student at Rice University, currently working towards a major in biochemistry and cell biology and minor in business. On campus, she is involved with the Student Admissions Council and Rice Pre-Medical Society, and she also volunteers with Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center. In this article she writes on a recent discussion on cultural competency in our medical professionalism class. Looking inward, she reflects on biases that a physician may have when addressing a patient’s culture and their health. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA   In Dr. Merlo’s class last Tuesday, we discussed cultural competency, which is a term that I didn’t really understand until Dr. Merlo explained it. I have always considered myself a fairly open-minded person, but as we were go
“Impact of Words in Medicine” by James Chen

“Impact of Words in Medicine” by James Chen

Reflections
James Chen is a premedical student at Rice University majoring in biochemistry and cell biology and minoring in medical humanities. He is on the executive board of Rice Program Council, a campus-wide planning organization. He also devotes time to his lab at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he studies cell turnover and division in the epithelia of zebrafish as well as human breast cancer cell lines. In the following article, James reflects on the ways that his perceptions on oncology have changed after the start of his shadowing experience—an integral part of our medical professionalism course. He illuminates the role that language plays in medical practice, and stresses the importance of learning to effectively communicate as a physician. —Gia Merlo, MD, MBA Today was my first day shado