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2018 NYMed Talks Addresses “Medicine and Society, Our Moral Compass”

a group of students at NYMed Talks

This year’s NYMed Talks held on April 13, captivated the audience with guest speakers covering the thought-provoking topics of the opioid crisis, race and gender in medicine, medical student and physician mental health, gun violence and health care for the homeless. “Medicine and Society, Our Moral Compass,” was the theme of the day coordinated by members of the School of Medicine (SOM) from the Class of 2021. View the 2018 NYMed Talks photo gallery.

James O’Connell, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and founding physician and president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, was the keynote speaker sharing his experiences as the “Street Doctor,” specializing in delivering quality health care to the homeless population of Boston for more than 30 years. Other speakers included Seth Waslman, M.D., director of the Division of Pain Management for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City' Camille A. Clare, M.D., M.P.H. ’11, associate dean of diversity and inclusion for the School of Medicine and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Abraham Bartell, M.D., division chief of child and adolescent at Westchester Medical Center; and Nina Agrawal. M.D., director of the Child Advocacy Center at Lincoln Medical Center in the South Bronx.  

“NYMed Talks is one of the most innovative and spectacular components of the New York Medical College medical student experience. It has allowed us to bring awareness and spark action about critical and important topics in health care that we will all face as current students and future physicians,” said Scarlett Tohme, third from left, SOM Class of 2021, Student Senate. “Working with the rest of the first-year Student Senate on NYMed Talks and seeing such an impact on the student body with students reaching out to our speakers to start new projects and coalitions to make a difference in society, is more than just rewarding. It motivates me to continue working with my peers to be the change that our community needs so we can be teachers, healers and advocates for all.”

“The moment we enter medical school, we are told that we are now held to a professional standard befitting of our field. Working on this year’s NYMed Talks taught me that, as medical students, we are held to such a high standard, because we are empowered to be able to do so much. The support and participation we received from our students, administration, and speakers was a true wake-up call that we as medical students are entrusted with the ability to sculpt our own education and, even if in a small way, shape the field we are about to enter,” said Tom Kim, second from left, SOM Class of 2021, Student Senate. “Having the opportunity to work on NYMed Talks with my co-senators was a tremendous growing experience and I am grateful to my peers, the administration and the speakers for entrusting us with the platform and the means to provide an unconventional education to this group of future doctors."

“This year’s NYMed Talks was an unmitigated success. An event like this is only as great as those who are willing to engage in the hard questions and conversations it is trying to engender. Our peers' presence, their engagement and excitement throughout the day was resounding rejection of apathy. For an entire morning, deans, professors, speakers and students all found common ground in their shared mission to cure the ill, treat the sick and right the wrong. Our students care about the world at large, and where medicine is heading,” said Suyu Zhang, second from right, SOM Class of 2021, Student Senate. “Our speakers, welded their professional experience into human stories that resonated so deeply. The passion and inspiration in the room was palpable and I have no doubt that their words have left indelible impacts on our students. They sure have for me. I fundamentally believe that the students at NYMC will be the very moral compasses that will guide this nation away from hatred, suffering and despair towards true healing.”

This year’s NYMedTalks was sponsored by the Office of Medical Student Affairs and the School of Medicine Alumni Association Board of Governors.

Photo from left: Members of the Class of 2021 Student Senate, Scott Lewis, Tom Kim,  Scarlett Tohme, Suyu Zhang and Tucker Callanan.