Here’s an Example of How SOM Graduates Make Us Proud

June 25, 2019 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Illustration to Dr. Knisely’s essay in the Spring 2019 issue of The Pharos by Eleeza Palmer.

As our medical school graduates move forward in their careers and in their practice, it’s great to hear of their accomplishments or see their names in journals or magazines.

A recent example was provided by Anne Knisely, MD, UVA School of Medicine Class of 2017. Now a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, she recently wrote an essay entitled, “In Reflection: A shared experience of cancer and womanhood.”

(Click the above image to read the Spring 2019 issue of The Pharos.)

Published in the Spring 2019 edition of Alpha Omega Alpha’s journal, The Pharos, Knisely’s essay draws thoughtful and important insights from a variety of memoirs, plays, and documentaries about patients with cancer. In these, she finds a level of humanity (and sometimes the bitter irony in treatments) that teaches the importance of paying attention to patients’ wishes.

“As I prepare to embark on a journey into obstetrics and gynecology residency, I begin to reflect and realize that being a great doctor is not just about knowing facts and scoring well on tests; it is about empathy, humanity, and navigating patient narratives.” …

She concludes by writing:

“… With this knowledge of my personal tendencies, coupled with the insights I have gained from these memoirs, I vow to myself that I will never measure my success in how many papers I publish or how low my surgical complication rate is; I will measure it in laughs, smiles, tears, and hugs. I will not just hear my patients’ concerns, but I will listen to them. I will make sure I know what my patients’ goals are, and what is most important to them. I will accept that these may change and it is important to re-ask during each clinic visit.”

As a physician, I agree with Knisely’s conclusions. As an educator, her words make me exceedingly proud. The continuous pursuit of being better, listening harder, and caring more is an admirable journey, upon which I wish her great success.

To read the essay, click here.

R.J. Canterbury, MD, MS, DLFAPA
Wilford W. Spradlin Professor
Senior Associate Dean for Education

Filed Under: Education