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

Transformational Times

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. Subscribe Now
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Character and Caring: Book I and II


Character & Caring: A Pandemic Year in Medical Education (Book I)

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 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.
This 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.

Character & Caring: Medical Eduation Emerges From the Pandemic (Book II)

Medical students, residents, physicians, and caregivers have struggled during the pandemic. The times in which we live will transform medicine. These essays, drawn from the Kern Institute’s Transformational Times newsletter, offer glimpses into what we have experienced and what might yet come.

In these pages, readers engage with unsettling realities unmasked by COVID-19, including workplace biases, inattention to wellness, residency-related stress, the loneliness of military responsibility, the inequity of the world around us, reproductive healthcare uncertainty, new educational realities, and the imperitive for flourishing and practical wisdom in physicians.

Each essay reveals remarkable insights and reflects the interplay of the world we inhabit with the present and future of medicine and healthcare.


Transformational Times

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In This Issue

Director's Corner

  • Adina Kalet, MD, MPH: The Kern Institute Learns to Blow our "Shofar"!


  • Kathlyn Fletcher, MD, MA: Welcome to Character and Caring: Medical Education Emerges From the Pandemic
  • Himanshu Agrawal, MD, MBSS, DF-APA: Taking care, taking charge or both?
  • Vanessa Savage, MHA: Mobile Healthcare – Creating a More Equitable and Accessible Healthcare Landscape
  • Michael T. Braun, PhD and Herodotos Ellinas, MD, MHPE: The Collaboratories Program Expands. to Cohort 2.0

Poetry Corner

  • Michael Esson: Midnight Confessions

Archive of Transformational Times