Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education

Transformational Times & Transformation Journal

The Transformational Times is the weekly e-newsletter published by the Kern Institute to deliver stories of hope, character and resilience from our virtual community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Transformation Journal was published 2017-2019, featuring innovative ideas and ways to engage in our mission of transforming medical education, as well as sharing upcoming events and valuable resources. Subscribe Now
Transformation Journal_Intro Component
Kern Book Cover MCW Site

Character and Caring: A Pandemic Year in Medical Education

When classrooms and clinical rotations shut down in March 2020, medical school faculty, staff, and students craved connection, comfort, and guidance. Out of that need, the Kern Institute created a weekly newsletter, the Transformational Times, to gather and amplify the voices of those rushing to the front lines and of those who supported them.

The nascent community shared its reactions over the summer to racial injustice, in the fall to the COVID-19 surges and the return to school, and in the winter and spring to the continued societal discord and slow adjustment to the new normal. Character and Caring: A Pandemic Year in Medical Education, a collection of essays, stories, and creative responses, shares the voices of diverse members of the medical community and beyond through a year of disconnection and reconnection. With honesty and creativity, each contributor tries to discern what medical education–and our world–might look like on the other side.

Transformational Times

Kern Institute Transformational Times Newsletter

In This Issue

Guest Director's Corner

  • John Yoon, MD and Fabrice Jotterand, PhD, MA: The Parable of Dr. Benny: A Journey through the Clouds To Reach the Summit of "Good Physician Mountain"


  • Daniel T. Kim, PhD, MPH; Megan K. Applewhite, MD, MA, FACS and Wayne Shelton, PhD: Disillusioned Doctors: Medical Ideals, Meaning, and Virtue-Based Professional Identity Formation
  • Lydia S. Dugdale, MD, MAR; Charlene Sathi, MS and Ashley John Moyse, PhD: Virtue Ethics and Character Formation in Medicine: Our Approach at Columbia's Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
  • Margaret Chisolm, MD and Paul McHugh, MD: The Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing at Johns Hopkins University
  • Sabena Y. Jameel, MD, PhD: The Doctor With a Golden Heart
  • Farr Curlin, MD; Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD and Brett McCarty, ThD: The Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School
  • Anne Jeffrey, PhD and Kathryn J. Rowland, MD, MPHS: Cultivating Character and Preparing Future Physicians to Flourish: Curricular Innovations to Character Formation in Pre-Clinical Medical Education and a Vision for the Character Collaborative for Medical Educators

Poetry Corner

  • Jack Coulehan, MD: In Praise of Virtue

Archive of Transformational Times