My experience at a site delivering up to 5,000 shots of hope per day

hand in medical glove reaching out with palm up
hand in medical glove reaching out with palm up
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Sunday, January 24, 2021, 6:15 a.m.

Day 1 begins in darkness. I park and join a line of people in scrubs walking into the tailgate lot at Petco Park. Waiting to sign in, the mood is light despite the early hour. People are chatting, waving to friends and coworkers — cold but excited.

New volunteers get a brief orientation. Roles at the superstation include vaccinator, scribe, charge nurse, runner, observer, check-in/registration, and support personnel (IT, traffic control, etc). Vaccinators have to be licensed medical professionals, and scribes and check-in need access to the electronic record system, but anyone can sign up as a runner or observer…


How to revel in life’s littlest moments, because that’s all we have right now

boy and girl standing on rooftop at dusk
boy and girl standing on rooftop at dusk
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Before you read this, I humbly ask that you open and play it in the background.

Cool. You ready?

Good, because you are the main character.

Let me translate for the non-#millenialsoftiktok and Gen X’ers out there. With pandemic lockdowns forcing teens to miss out on prom, graduation, and other high school traditions, many turned to TikTok to reimagine their coming-of-age moments.

The main character is the one who dances like nobody’s watching. The one who sticks their body out of the speeding car to feel the wind in their hair. …


5 learning accelerants to fuel your own fire

View of city through photo lens, rendering the skyline upside down
View of city through photo lens, rendering the skyline upside down
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I started medical school at 21 years old, fresh-faced and slightly bleary-eyed from a hangover lasting most of my senior year. Using the old tried-and-true studying techniques — going to class, reading a textbook, taking notes — I had sailed through the first 3 years of college with only a few bumps in the sea. Learning just came naturally to me. Or so I thought.

The first year of medical school, I scored below average on almost every exam.

I was uncomfortably close to failing in some subjects; I managed to scrape out an average in Anatomy.

Not for lack…


Behind the scenes of a meeting of women in a medical specialty dominated by men

Image for post
Image for post
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She was there, briefly. Earlier at the conference, she sat unassumingly in a row of chairs I passed. The sharp maroon blazer stood out even before I knew the wearer’s identity.

Now, she was being called to the podium:

“The first female president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Kristy Weber!”

We rose and clapped as thunderously as 80-odd people could.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS) was held in the Venetian Sands Expo Center, Room 504. Room 504 was a gold-hued, ornately-decorated ballroom of medium size. …

Isabella Wu

A young doctor training in orthopedic surgery // Heartfelt essays and medical non-fiction

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