Internal Medicine

Kaitlyn Dykes, MD Kaitlyn Dykes, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Author

Georgetown University Hospital


Dr. Kaitlyn Dykes is a third-year internal medicine resident at Georgetown University Hospital, in Washington, D.C. She completed medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a part of the clinical research tract. She completed her bachelors of science in Genetics, Cell Biology and Cell Development with a minor in Art History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She plans to pursue a career in hematology oncology. She is actively involved in research endeavors and medical education. Hobbies include reading, painting, visiting museums (when they are open), and enjoying time with friends and family.




Along the Road: A Perspective on Medical Training in a Pandemic

It feels odd to have family members in the hospital regularly again. My patient’s wife approaches cautiously; for a second I pretend not to see her. She looks like she wants to talk and I’m afraid she wants good news I can’t give, promises I can’t make, and time I don’t feel like I have. She wants time to tell me her loved one’s stories.

Early Palliative Care and End-of-Life Planning as a Primary Preventative Intervention During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has drastically increased the number of critically ill and dying patients presenting for hospitalized management of dyspnea, acute respiratory failure and other serious complications. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 has created unprecedented demands on all avenues of inpatient hospitalist medicine. One of the many services in high demand includes palliative care, with increased need for complex end of life planning.

Internalizing Medicine: Starting Intern Year in the Time of COVID

In my home city of Washington, D.C., citizens have taken the changes brought on by COVID-19 very seriously; social distancing, masking and frequent hand hygiene are now routine. These days, I am startled when I see the bottom half of someone’s face out in public. Our homes have become our sanctuaries. In the hospital, however, much of our work continues unabated. Orders are written, notes are signed, lab work is drawn, imaging is performed. Housestaff are on the front lines with nurses, respiratory therapists and patient care technicians taking care of the sickest patients day-in, day-out.

Facing the Consequences of the Pandemic as an Oncologist-in-Training

For the first time in history, a pandemic has shut down the entire globe. COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways, including significantly impacting health care services. Many people, sensing an unseen danger looming in the air, have become increasingly afraid to visit their primary care physicians, and we are now discovering the catastrophic consequences of this delay.

Witness

This elderly yet jolly gentleman answers our unending questions about his physical health, but it is his question to us that makes me pause. Do I have time for a poem? This busy clinic day, I stop reflecting on why his heart stopped beating and instead what motivates his heart to beat in the first place.   

Can Empathy Be Taught, or Is It Innate?

In medical school, I was taught to sit at eye level when speaking to patients, ask how they would prefer to be addressed, and ask open-ended questions to allow them to express themselves. I learned to interject with “That must be really difficult for you,” or “I can only imagine how that makes you feel,” as a way to show empathy and foster better connection with patients.

Facing the Inevitable: A Resident Physician’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

As I check in on my patients each morning, I wonder if some will unexpectedly decompensate and die over the coming weeks. I think about myself and my co-residents who are in the hospital all day swabbing patients for COVID-19 without adequate personal protective equipment. Many of my co-residents are on home isolation as a result of this exposure, waiting for their test results and praying that our government will step up and fund more mask production, or civilians will return the N95s they’ve hoarded, or the set of a TV medical drama will donate their props to us.

Vanessa Van Doren, MD Vanessa Van Doren, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Emory University School of Medicine


Vanessa Van Doren is a PGY-2 in the Emory University School of Medicine’s J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine Residency program and a current participant in the Health, Equity, Advocacy, and Policy Track. She is a past national board member of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) and past Health Policy Committee Leader of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter. She co-founded the Health Advocacy Leadership Organization, a longitudinal 4-year health policy and advocacy elective at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Van Doren's career plans are focused on ways to integrate research, clinical medicine, and advocacy to help build a truly equitable health care system.