Academic

Wearing my white coat with my stethoscope hanging around my neck, I knock. I introduce myself while going through a checklist in my mind: say hello, ask how the patient would like to be addressed, start with the chief complaint.

“I lived through WWII. A little needle is not going to hurt me,” said Ms. X as I screened her for vaccination contraindications.

“You get how much time for cardio?” My friend, a third year medical student at a different school, was a bit surprised at the reduced amount of time we have dedicated to Cardiology in the new Bridges curriculum compared to his.

“Mr. Hayward is a 45-year-old African-American male with hypertension who presents with dyspnea on exertion…” Patient narratives like the one above traditionally open with a mention of race. That has begun to change, however, as UCSF and peer institutions move to discourage this practice—in some cases as early as in the first months of medical school.
This year, UCSF introduced Bridges, a new curriculum for first year medical students. The new curriculum involves 1.5 preclinical years instead of two, and features three major components: Foundational Sciences (FS), Core Inquiry Curriculum (CIC), and Clinical Microsystems Clerkship (CMC). With so many moving parts, trying to understand each piece is a challenge even for the first year medical students experiencing the new curriculum. Synapse’s newest column, Crossing Bridges, provides an insider view from five first year medical students as they break down the new curriculum’s different components.
Dr. Kaveh Ashrafi started his life under circumstances many might think of as extremely challenging. Separated from his family at an early age because of the political circumstances in his native Iran, Ashrafi lived on his own in a previously unknown country for 18 months when he was just 13 years old.

Dr. Diane Barber is an Endowed Professor and Chair in the UCSF Department of Cell and Tissue Biology. Students in a number of graduate programs know Diane as the Director of the BMS260 Cell Biology core course.

Before I first stumbled into a research laboratory in college, I never imagined that I could or would end up pursuing a career in academic research. During the six years since I was captivated by the life sciences, I have taken an interest in how other researchers like me found themselves in this wonderful and challenging field. Diversity Spotlight is a new quarterly column where I will highlight the journeys of UCSF faculty who come from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in academia.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

Each year, the ASGD and GDAA call for students and alumni to nominate faculty who have gone above and beyond their duties as professors, providing academic, professional and personal support and dedication to student mentorship. The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award is an exceptional opportunity for trainees to express their appreciation for the faculty mentors who have changed their lives. The Associated Students of the Graduate Division (ASGD) and the Graduate Division Alumni Association (GDAA) have selected Dr. Hiten Madhani, MD, PhD, as this year’s Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Awardee.