I just lost my study partner this morning to cancer. I love him too much to share everything he went through publicly. Maybe he can live on through your blog.
He was diagnosed with cancer last summer. Had a softball-size tumor taken out of his lung, started chemo and went through hell. The pictures of him are horrifying. He came back to school because another leave of absence may have prevented him from getting a residency. He was beautiful and now he’s gone.
Our med school doesn’t let students recover from accidents or medical conditions without failing them for attendance or making them repeat the term—even though they have A’s. They are abusing the shit out of our class. One of the happiest guys in our class just told me he has been depressed all year. My lab partner, the sweetest human on the planet, tells me she cries in the shower every night.
Now an incredible human is lost. We are all in mourning. Instead of taking care of his body he came back to finish. Please do not share the name or picture, but please share his memory and love for healing. Medical school was more important than his own life. I’m so distraught, angry, and crushed that the system is run in such a way that we can’t get cancer.
After I read your article about a young surgeon who was dismissed from her program when she became ill, I realized you can’t get sick during medical training or this huge investment is taken away. It’s counterintuitive and heartbreaking. This story proves the pressures of residency. Great future doctors choose to continue school rather than fully recover in order to fulfill the timeline in which we must finish.
It wasn’t a suicide but it kind of was. He should have been home getting treatment.
I wish I could share more. But he wouldn’t want to be remembered as a victim or as being weak. That is the person he was. Don’t get sick in medical school.
He was here with his chest cracked open, no hair, no voice, and in 10/10 pain. Studying next year’s classes so he wasn’t behind.
P.S. He sent me this in January.
Facts: A medical school diploma does not allow you to work as a doctor. A residency position is required. In 2016, 35,476 medical school graduates applied for the 30,750 residency positions. That means 4,726 did not match. What happens if you don’t get a residency? Here’s one doctor’s story: I’m a doctor. I’m on Medicaid. I work as a waitress.
Outraged? Here’s how you can help:
Sign this petition to support Dr. Svetlana Kleyman’s return to school.
Support Dr. Erin Kalan who was bullied out of residency for her brain tumor.
Support Dr. Stephanie Waggel who was fired for having cancer.
Pamela Wible, M.D., reports on human right violations in medicine. She is a practicing physician in Oregon where she hosts biannual retreats for physicians and medical students to help them heal from their trauma so they can be the healers they were born to be.