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The Spark

Author: UCSF School of Medicine

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Presenting the people and stories behind medical education at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and our community of learners.
35 Episodes
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What are the similarities and differences in surgical training in Nepal versus the US? Chloe explores this question at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, where expert physicians share their own training experiences from home and abroad.   In this second of three "Nepal Episodes," Chloe interviews Anu Manandhar, MBBS, MD, Head of the Tilganga Uveitis Department, about her training both in Nepal and at UCSF. Chloe also speaks with resident physicians Saksham Tamang, MD and Anu Amatya, MD about their journeys to ophthalmology, and how teaching and learning can create lasting change.    Music by Podington Bear, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
When it comes to surgery, is "technologically advanced" always superior? Last summer, Chloe Sales (MS3) had the opportunity to explore this question in Kathmandu, Nepal, at the world-renowned Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology – whose doctors pioneered the use of a low-cost, low-tech procedure that's saved the vision of countless patients.    In the first of three "Nepal Episodes," Chloe chats with UCSF ophthalmologists Neeti Parikh, MD and Madeline Yung, MD, about their experience in Nepal – including training in this surgical technique and expanding access to it in California. Chloe also chats with Nabin Kumar Rai, Director of Programs at Tilganga Institute, about lessons they can learn from each other.   Music by Podington Bear, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.    
In the last episode of our season, Paul and Chloe sit down with UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, to discuss the stages of his career, what's inspired him to stay at UCSF for over three decades, how keeping an open mind has led him to interesting places, and the importance of an inquisitive spirit as you take on new roles. Music by Podington Bear, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
In the penultimate episode of the season, Paul chats with Dr. Talmadge E. King, Jr., Dean of the School of Medicine & Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at UCSF, about how clinicians and specialties choose each other, the intentionality of truly collaborative environments, and how his career has steered him towards leadership.
Chloe chats with (then incoming) Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education, Lorriana Leard, MD, about the value of physician coaching (for both coach and medical student), how AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard may change how students learn and physicians work, balancing personal and professional life goals, and what she's most looking forward to in her new role.
Chloe chats with Valerie Gribben, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, about embracing the unknown throughout training, adopting a growth mindset, and the power of storytelling in medicine. Music by Podington Bear, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
Paul chats with Dr. Peter Ureste, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Ureste has roles across campus that allow him to mentor the next generation of medical professionals, and he explains the journey that led him to that. Paul and Chloe also discuss what they look for in a mentor/mentee relationship.
"You will not always know enough, but you will always be enough." These are the words of wisdom that Dr. Khayam-Bashi shares with each new class, encouraging them to tap into useful emotions when caring for patients. Paul and Chloe talk about the perspective this lesson has given them in their medical education.
Dr. Justin Sewell

Dr. Justin Sewell

2023-02-1733:59

Dr. Justin Sewell, Professor of Medicine, joins Paul and Chloe to discuss getting into med school on the first try (or not), maintaining boundaries between professional and personal lives, and the dream of living in the moment even as you look to the future. 
Dr. Andy Josephson

Dr. Andy Josephson

2023-01-2328:47

Chloe and Paul are joined by Dr. Andy Josephson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology. They discuss the importance of mentorship, how teaching is a skill that can be taught and learned, and the ways medical school offers opportunities to try new things, even for those on a straightforward path.
Dr. Anna Chang

Dr. Anna Chang

2022-11-2934:24

In the first episode of the season we meet our new hosts, Chloe Sales (MS2) and Paul Brandfonbrener (MS1). Chloe talks to Anna Chang, MD, a professor in the Department of Medicine's Division of Geriatrics. Dr. Chang also directs the School of Medicine's Bridges Curriculum Clinical Microsystems Clerkship, the integrated clinical skills and health systems curriculum for all first- and second-year medical students. They discuss Dr. Chang's career, finding and hanging onto meaning over the arc of a long and challenging career, and the importance of asking oneself, "have you done something that made you happy today?" Music by Podington Bear, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
Season 5 Trailer

Season 5 Trailer

2022-11-2805:52

Welcome our new hosts, Chloe Sales (MS2) and Paul Brandfonbrener (MS1), as they present guests with the question: Where do you find joy, meaning, or purpose in your work?
In this episode, Mihir Joshi interviews Dr. Lee Jones, then-Associate Dean for Students at the UCSF School of Medicine. Dr Jones will join Georgetown University’s School of Medicine as the Dean of Medical Education later this summer.   *Please excuse any background noises as our interviewers & interviewees are speaking remotely via video chat.  Music by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. 
(Recorded in Fall 2020) This episode is part 2 of 2 in our "Tale of Two Reopenings" miniseries. Dan Cummins first speaks with Drs. Alan Shindel, MD and Tami Rowen, MD, each faculty with UCSF, about what is has been like to be parents of young children and busy physicians during COVID-19, educational and broader inequalities underscored by the virus, and the prospect of returning to in-person schooling. Dan then speaks with Hyun "Honey" Kim, a teacher at East Side Union High School in San Jose, about the difficulties of remote education and the concerns many teachers have, both for remote education and returning to in-person classes. Music: "Sneaker Chase" and "Operatives" by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
This episode is part 1 of 2 in our "Tale of Two Reopenings" mini-series. Dan Cummins speaks with Xavier 'Abe' Cortez, a third-year medical student reflecting on his experiences returning to the clinical wards after being removed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Then, Mihir Joshi speaks with Fiona Miller, a second-year medical student and mother of three, speaking on the process of stopping and starting school both for herself and her children. Music: "Sneaker Chase" and "Operatives" by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.  
For much of medicine’s history as a profession, it was a crime for women to be doctors. While women gained the right to study and practice medicine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, by 1965 less than 10% of medical school graduates were women. That changed dramatically in the 1970s with the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX. Today, more women than men are enrolled in medical school but have we reached equity? And how do other identities such as race intersect with gender? Host Tessnim Ahmad (resident) is joined by Dr. Urmimala Sarkar (Professor of Medicine) and Dr. LaMisha Hill (Director of the Multicultural Resource Center). Some of the data on leadership is from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic's book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It). Special thanks to Sarah Ahmad, neurology fellow at UCSF, whose research on microaggressions helped spur the creation of this episode. Music: Sneaker Chase by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
Host Tessnim Ahmad (MS4) discusses the health and health-system impacts of climate change with Dr. Katherine Gundling, Clinical Professor Emerita and former practice chief for the Allergy/Immunology faculty practice; Dr. Seema Gandhi, Associate Clinical Professor in the department of anesthesia; and MS3s Colin Baylen and Nuzhat Islam, who helped found the Human Health and Climate Change student group.
Burnout is part of the American vernacular. It refers to the emotional exhaustion brought on by chronic work-related stress, and can manifest as cynicism and feeling like your work lacks meaning. The term was coined in the 1970s by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He volunteered in a free clinic for patients with drug addiction and he used “burnout” to describe the exhaustion suffered by workers in helping professions, such as medicine, which carry rigorous demands and high ideals. While the term has been applied to other professions, burnout is particularly high in healthcare: a report released last month from the National Academy of Medicine describes rampant burnout, with up to half of doctors feeling it. There are many causes such as demanding work schedules and little autonomy. System changes have also created burdensome administrative tasks and new care models, leading some to feel the emphasis is on documentation billing and performance metrics instead of patient care. Like clinicians, trainees also suffer burnout – an estimated 60%. The path to medical school and then residency and fellowship is long and challenging, and it's becoming more competitive. The average test scores at most medical schools are rising, even while medical advances mean there's much more to learn now to be a competent physician. Host Tessnim Ahmad (MS4) is joined by Nikhil Rajapuram (MS4) and Dr. Lee Jones, Associate Dean for Students. Get in touch with Nikhil: Nikhil.Rajapuram@ucsf.edu Burnout Survey: http://bit.ly/31U5qBj Transcript: http://tiny.ucsf.edu/uYNXk2 Music: Sneaker Chase by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
Burnout is part of the American vernacular. It refers to the emotional exhaustion brought on by chronic work-related stress, and can manifest as cynicism and feeling like your work lacks meaning. The term was coined in the 1970s by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He volunteered in a free clinic for patients with drug addiction and he used “burnout” to describe the exhaustion suffered by workers in helping professions, such as medicine, which carry rigorous demands and high ideals. While the term has been applied to other professions, burnout is particularly high in healthcare: a report released last month from the National Academy of Medicine describes rampant burnout, with up to half of doctors feeling it. There are many causes such as demanding work schedules and little autonomy. System changes have also created burdensome administrative tasks and new care models, leading some to feel the emphasis is on documentation billing and performance metrics instead of patient care. Like clinicians, trainees also suffer burnout – an estimated 60%. The path to medical school and then residency and fellowship is long and challenging, and it's becoming more competitive. The average test scores at most medical schools are rising, even while medical advances mean there's much more to learn now to be a competent physician. Host Tessnim Ahmad (MS4) is joined by Nikhil Rajapuram (MS4) and Dr. Lee Jones, Associate Dean for Students. Get in touch with Nikhil: Nikhil.Rajapuram@ucsf.edu Burnout Survey: http://bit.ly/31U5qBj Transcript: http://tiny.ucsf.edu/uYNXk2 Music: Sneaker Chase by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
Host Tessnim Ahmad (MS4) discusses opiate prescribing and related research with Dr. Wen Shen, Professor in the UCSF Department of Surgery, and his former mentee, Stephanie Kwan.. Music: Sneaker Chase by Podington Bear. Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0.
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