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Rebecca L. Williams-Karnesky, MD, PhD Rebecca L. Williams-Karnesky, MD, PhD (1 Posts)

Fellow Physician Contributing Writer

University of New Mexico Hospital


Dr. Rebecca Williams-Karnesky has completed three clinical years as a General Surgery resident and is currently in her second year as a Surgical Education Research Fellow in the Department of General Surgery at the University of New Mexico. Her current research examines the intersectionality of surgeon wellness, engagement in teaching, and learner mistreatment. She is also interested in understanding how mindfulness and compassion practices can be used to increase personal resilience and change culture in surgery.




Why Being Kind Matters: Mistreatment of Residents Leads to Increased Rates of Burnout and Suicidal Ideation

Residency is a challenging time plagued by long hours, overwhelming clinical service loads, escalating documentation requirements, and inadequate resources for support. A recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine illustrates how mistreatment in the training environment takes an additional toll on medical trainees.

Patients, Providers and the Working Class: Lessons for Health Workers from the Closing of Hahnemann Hospital

I had just started my first clerkship of third year at a nearby hospital when the news broke. Hahnemann Hospital, the main teaching hospital of my medical school, was closing. More accurately, the hedge fund manager who purchased the hospital a year earlier was filing for bankruptcy. He separated the valuable Center City real estate from the hospital itself to ensure a tidy profit for investors at the expense of patients and staff.

Why We Walked Out: A Call for Courage and Action from the University of Washington Housestaff Association

On September 25, we participated in a 15-minute unity break (effectively a walk-out) with over 450 residents and fellows at the University of Washington in protest of UW’s dismal contract proposals during our negotiations. It was led by the University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA), one of the few unions of resident doctors in the United States.

“PGY3”: How I Coped in the Medical ICU by Making Music

Listen to the track “PGY3” by Dr. Roy Souaid and his band “John Lebanon.” The song started in New Orleans during the American College of Physicians National Conference in May 2018 and has been a yearlong project inspired by street buskers, hospital sounds and jazz. It captures the medical resident’s work flow and is set in the medical intensive care unit at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

In Defense of Resident Wellness (Part 2 of 2)

In my first post in this two-part series, I presented an argument for why physicians and administrators need to work together to develop small-scale interventions to bring meaning to medicine while we continue to push for larger systemic change. In this post, I will explore some effective (and some less effective) themes for interventions for residents.

Solitary Confinement and Health: Why It Matters in 2019

Over the last year, our collective minds have been captivated by stories about child and family separation, detainment of citizens and immigrants, and the quality of the health care within detention facilities. These stories have been jarring and traumatic, and have also awoken an important level of national consciousness about the nature of detention. What has not received as much coverage in recent discourse is the ongoing nature of solitary confinement in our justice system.

Aishwarya Rajagopalan, DO, MHS Aishwarya Rajagopalan, DO, MHS (2 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Harvard Medical School


Aishwarya Rajagopalan is a PGY-1 psychiatry resident with the Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Program. Her interests include the intersection of psychiatry and social justice, especially among women and transition age youth, public mental health and policy. In her free time, she loves partaking in spirited policy debates with friends and family, spinning, yoga, dark chocolate, bad reality TV, and green tea with lemon. She is an in-Training alumna and is excited to continue on in this space.

Policy Prescriptions

Policy Prescriptions is dedicated to exploring and challenging contemporary health policy issues, especially in the fields of behavioral health, health care access, and inclusion.