Wed, 5/19/21–Residency Book Club! The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Hello Everyone!

Happy Spring! We are so excited to announce that the UCSD IM Book Club is starting up again with the fabulous book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This non-fiction book tells the incredible story of Henrietta Lacks whose cervical cancer cells were the first to be grown in culture and are still being propagated today. These cells, known as HeLa cells by scientists, have been essential to many medical advancements from the polio vaccine to gene mapping. During the author’s research, she became close with Henrietta Lacks’ remaining family members uncovering an extraordinary history of human experimentation and medical ethics. Check out this link for a full review:

UCSD’s book club strives to encourage reading and foster rewarding discussions in a very laid-back setting. We invite anyone and everyone (including family and friends) to join us whether you have time to read the whole book or even just the first page! This book has also been made into a feature film starring Oprah Winfrey, which is a great option to check out, if you aren’t able to pick up the book! The movie is available for streaming on HBO max.

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30pm

Location: Mission Bay Park–2688 E. Mission Bay Dr. SD, CA 92109

Email Lizzy Hastie for more details!

We cannot wait to hang out and chat about this beautiful book with you soon!

Hiking Club, Sun 4/11/21 @9am–Torrey Pines State Reserve–Great for the WHOLE Family!

Save the Date! Our next hike is EASY and great for the whole family! It’s my FAVORITE spot in San Diego–Torrey Pines State Reserve. It will be Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9am. Stay tuned for more details. For questions, email Danielle Munce We will meet and park (free) on Callan Road (see red circle on map below), near the Lodge at Torrey Pines. More details to follow!

Hiking Club: Potato Chip Rock-Sun 3/7/21@9am

SAVE THE DATE! If you have the day off next Sunday, March 7, meet us at 9am at the trailhead at Lake Poway. 14644 Lake Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92064. $10 for parking (consider carpooling). 8 miles round trip; 2,000 feet of elevation gain, no shade, great views and photo op! Bring your mask and plenty of water! For more details, contact Christine Sonners (

Resident Kudos–Elizabeth Epstein!

Amazing R1 (almost R2) Elizabeth Epstein has proven herself to be a champion of wellness. She has published a review paper reframing cardiac rehab as not only a means of increasing survival rates but also improving quality of life during those years!

That’s not all! She has also published an article giving us all a guide on how to maintain wellness in the COVID19 era. In the articles, she compares residency training to High Intensity Interval Training, and frames wellness as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Read more here: She did this all while being an amazing co-resident and physician!

2019-2020 Six Word Stories

During the 2019-2020 academic year, our family of residents responded to three 6-word story prompts.

My pandemic silver lining is…

  • Zooming with friends, zoomies with doggies
  • gratitude for snail mail and amazonprime
  • Residents who inspire me every day!
  • A crisis without precedent or president
  • my dog loves me even more
  • relearning how to read leisure books.
  • wearing jammies and blankies to work.
  • online church any day, any time.
  • memes, online dance workouts, virtual concerts.
  • Innovative collaborative scientific medical staff worldwide
  • less plans, free time, slow down
  • Time to reconnect with support system
  • more snuggles with the best pup
  • Almost a PGY2; no more prerounding
  • no cars no traffic smooth drive
  • parents finally learned how to facetime 
  • the tiger king is outrageous and addicting

New Year, New Me- This year I am looking forward to…

  • finally getting around to PDSAs…maybe
  • Making new memories with old friends 
  • counting to six without making any errors
  • First job, long vacation, celebrating friends!
  • Finally achieving better work life fit
  • Vegas bod inspired by Jon Chung.
  • Being done with intern year yay
  • Starting fellowship, new city, mksap first!
  • Super seniors finally graduating from residency
  • The birth of my first baby!
  • Trying a new taco every month
  • Publishing my first author research paper!
  • Becoming an ultrasound guru, like Gary
  • Finally mastering the art of mealprep
  • Watching my baby learn to walk

Today I am grateful for….

  • Light rain, comfy sweaters, Jassal hugs.
  • The chance to serve through medicine.
  • My Family, My Patients, My Residents.
  • The last parking spot in Gilman
  • warm drinks, lights, things merry/bright
  • Not being a patient in hospital
  • F Words: Family, Friends, Food, Festivities
  • Compassionate co-workers who keep me sane.
  • EDIS is all green. I sleep
  • Rain in the desert, no fires
  • My amazing va interns and attending
  • No wards, no call, no problem 
  • A good night’s sleep without interruption
  • Happy hour after Friday School, yeah!
  • Turkey Turkey Gobble Gobble Yummy Tummy

Resilience related Grand Rounds 5/13

Please join us for a special Resilience related Grand Rounds this coming Wednesday, May 13, 2020 from 7:30 – 8:30 am!

Grit and Grace of the Thai Boys Trapped In the Cave – Lessons for Our Own Resilience and Wellbeing

Mark Berelowitz, MD

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Please use this ZOOM Webinar link to view it remotely: 

The recommended article is attached here:

What Will We Remember?

A quiet street, a closed building, an empty parking lot, a sad voice, a missed connection.  Pride, anger, fear, compassion, remorse.
What will we remember from this time? How can we use language to understand this experience?
Let’s try to capture a moment together to do some directed narrative writing.  Like a photograph, a short narrative tells a story in a moment’s time but leaves a lasting impression.  We can’t un-see, and we can’t un-read.  Let’s make something that lasts.
We’ll do a couple short writing exercises and share them with each other.
-Dena Rifkin, MD

Dr. Rifkin, our awesome nephrology attending and medical humanities expert has kindly agreed to lead us through this exercise!

Please fill out this survey so that we may figure out the best time for a Zoom event for those interested! Narrative Medicine