I Want to Help But You Won’t Let Me

Joseph Johnson, Wake Forest University School of Law J.D. Candidate ’23

10 years old

Dear Diary,

I finally had my birthday party today! I have been waiting FOREVER for it. It feels like I have been 9 for two years at LEAST! But I am finally 10! Double digits! It was so much fun and I spent almost all day with my friends. I am so happy that Mom and Dad let me start the party at 12 instead of 2 because I wanted it to last as long as possible. I can’t wait to go to school to tell everyone about it. Mom and Dad even got a huuuge banner that said “Happy 10th Birthday Macy!” in big pink letters. Plus they finally got me an iPad! I hope they let me bring it to school. This was the best day ever! Well I better go to bed soon because Mom wants me to go to the grocery store with her tomorrow morning. I hope she feels better tomorrow. I saw her crying when she was talking to Dad this morning, but she said nothing was wrong. Then she acted all weird the rest of the day. Anyway, I am going to bed now. I am so tired after the best birthday ever! 

Continue reading “I Want to Help But You Won’t Let Me”

Playing God: Making the Impossible Choices

Charlotte Robinson, Wake Forest University School of Law JD ’22

The room feels darker than most. It is cold and uninviting. For someone who works in a hospital, you’d think I would be used to this environment. I should have adapted to it. After all, no one has ever described a hospital as sunny and welcoming. I look around the waiting room of the psychology wing, taking in all the textbooks and self-help books, stewing. As I wait, I can hear every beat of my heart. My ears feel muffled, like when you swim underwater. I finally understand how patients must feel waiting for their doctor to show. Why make an appointment if you can’t commit to the time you offered? The door to her office creaks open, and I hear the small click-click of the doctor’s heels as she walks out to grab me. We walk the three feet back into her office. It’s even darker than the waiting room. Dr. Markin sits down at her desk and opens a folder. It’s thick. I know it’s my patient master file – a simple manilla folder than contains all my patients and their stories. For such a simple folder, it’s mere presence makes me nauseous. 

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The Tiger and the Lamb

Christian Schweitzer, Wake Forest University School of Law J.D. Candidate ’23

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 

In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, 

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

***

*Rinnnngggggg* 

“Alright, time’s up. Put your name on your exam and bring it to the front of the room please. Remember to read pages 288-304 for class on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone.” 

Hansen walked out of the classroom to join the sea of students cascading toward the school’s main exit. He brushed past obstacles, human and inanimate alike, with the grace of someone used to being among large crowds but never belonging to the group. 

Upon reaching the end of the hall, he took an abrupt right turn away from the exits and ventured into the silent corridor which contained the school’s computer lab. As he stepped into the lab in the direction of his usual seat, he gave a slight smile and a nod to the lab’s sole occupant, Mr. Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins was the high school’s computer science teacher. A kind, heavy-set man with a thin voice, Mr. Jenkins had become well acquainted with Hansen during the boy’s two-and-a-half years at the school. Hansen’s previous weekly visits to the lab informed Mr. Jenkins that Hansen would spend this Friday afternoon hard at work in front of the computer until their silent camaraderie was brought to a close by Jenkins’s familiar pronouncement,  

“C’mon kid, I think we both better get home.” 

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Strange Friend

Madison Boyer, Wake Forest University School of Law J.D. Candidate ’23

Department of Health and Human Services – Project Proposal & Request for Funding

Working Name: Project Talos

I. Proposal Summary

The Project Talos team has collaborated for six years to develop an artificially intelligent physician, or “AIP”. The AIP has the capacity to diagnose and treat all medical conditions complained of by adults. The AIP is a cost-conscious and effective way to ensure access to healthcare for all Americans, who otherwise may be unable to afford the services of a physician. Project Talos is requesting $15,000,000 to complete the necessary coding work, to install Project Talos “Dr. Touring”® AIP stations in pharmacies and primary care offices, and to offset the initial costs of providing healthcare. 

II. Project Description

Project Talos will revolutionize the American healthcare system. Currently, approximately one in four Americans (22%) are not receiving necessary medical care due to cost. Over thirty-one million Americans under the age of 65 do not have health insurance. Project Talos will allow those Americans to access excellent medical care at little to no out-of-pocket cost, whether or not they are insured. 

III. Goals and Objectives

The Project Talos AIP was built with three goals: (1) to promote health on an individual level (“individual health goal”); (2) to promote the overall health of the American population (“public health goal”); and (3) to promote health across generations (“future health goal”). All three goals are constantly monitored by the AIP. If the AIP detects health issues arising, it is independently capable of correcting for error. The AIP was trained on high-quality medical data that was graciously donated by Harvard Medical School. The data was stripped of all identifying information so that the AIP cannot reflect any possible bias concerning age, race, sex, or gender identification. The primary objective of Project Talos is to provide the highest possible quality of healthcare to all Americans at affordable prices. This will encourage patients to seek preventative healthcare services before their condition leads to a medical emergency. The AIP will help millions achieve better health outcomes and lead longer, happier lives.

IV. Conclusion

With the support of the Department of Health and Human Services, and with the eventual approval of the FDA, Project Talos is hopeful that millions of lives will be improved at an extremely reasonable cost to the United States taxpayer.

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Mirrored

By Austin Coates, WFU JD Candidate ’22

About mid-day on a Tuesday, Mera sat on a bench, weary and tired, yet relieved. She’d been up late the night before, studying for her computer science final exam into the morning hours. A senior in college now, it was the last final exam she would take as a student. As she sat on the bench, she couldn’t help but be proud of herself. The first in her family to go to college, she’d worked tirelessly to get to this point. She held a 3.89 GPA, would graduate at the top of her class, and had a job lined up with a leading ancestry analysis company, Family Tree, as a biometrics analyst.  She knew very little about her own family history and was fascinated by the opportunity to work at Family Tree while learning more about her ancestors. She would start the following Monday; her dreams realized and the world ahead of her. But for now, at least, it was time to celebrate.

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Three Black Stories

by Darrien Jones, WFU JD Candidate ’22

I. BLACK BOY

Black Boy has grown up in Over The Rhine, a small stretch of a booming city, Cincinnati. Over the Rhine, or as people call it now, “OTR,” is the “place to be”, the crowd is the youngest it has ever been, the restaurants that now line the streets are all between four and five stars, and the bars that accompany them are known for their local cocktail mixes. The crime has fallen to a minimal level, down from its top 25 ranking in “America’s Most Dangerous Cities,” and you can park without worry as you go to the Reds or Bengals game. Yet, as you come back to your car, you know to go towards Mason or Liberty Township, two of the biggest suburbs where most of OTR’s weekend visitors come from. You would not dare go past “The Wall.” Now, The Wall is not to be confused with a physical wall or any type of fencing. The Wall is where the city’s gentrification has stopped, maybe for only a month or a year as they continue to push Black people out of the area, but for now it has stopped. The construction certainly hasn’t, but the evictions, for some time, have taken respite. The difference between “good OTR” and “bad OTR” is so stark. One minute you are driving past The Eagle and Taste of Belgium, two “staple” expensive restaurants in the city, and drunk white college students and young professionals on paddle pubs.  The next minute, you are in a territory of homelessness, dilapidated and vacant buildings, graffiti everywhere, and trash unattended. It is a different city beyond The Wall, and this is where Black Boy lives.

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What Do You See?

What Do You See?

By: Emily Burke, JD ’18, Wake Forest University

The cold surface pricked my fingers as I stretched my palms flat against the motorized table beneath me. The coolness sent a chill up my spine, stretching up from the very tips of my toes. It was when the chill spread a dull numbness in my ears that I realized how naked, how vulnerable, and how exposed I was.

I was wearing a hospital gown, laying inside a tunnel beneath a thin, white bedsheet. Away from his gaze. And yet, just as I felt the narrow x-ray beams dance across the sheet, I felt his eyes on me. As the beams skipped across my skin, my heart began to race. I closed my eyes. My brow furrowed as my fingertips pushed    into the table. I was trying to escape the whiteness, the brightness of the tunnel. Just as I lifted my fingers, the blood rushed and pulsed its way back into my fingertips. I swallowed and realized my jaw was clenched. I knew I couldn’t move my hands, or any part of my body, for that matter. I desperately wanted to massage my jaw, my furrowed brow, my pulsing fingers. Instead, all I could do was lay there. Silently.

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What Blinds One Might Blind Another

By: Mary Kate Gladstone, JD Candidate at Wake Forest University School of Law

The Researcher

I still remember the very first day I walked through the doors here.  It was much like the first time you do anything, really. There were nerves and excitement and the ever-sobering realization that I would never be able to do that very thing for the very first time ever again. The research center was situated on the outskirts of the city, lifted up on a small hill where it bounced the early morning sunbeams off of its metallic surface and into the eyes of passersby like myself. The first day I drove up to the center, I had to throw my hand up to my eyes to protect from the building’s blinding reflection. Continue reading “What Blinds One Might Blind Another”

Event Promotion: Wake Up Winston – Advocate Day and Open Mic Night

Safe Zone in Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Offices of Inclusion and Diversity and Student Inclusion and Diversity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center cordially invite you to participate on Friday October 6, 2017 in our Wake Up Winston Advocate Day and Open Mic Night featuring Donovan Livingston as MC. 

This event will serve as a community celebration of diversity and inclusion and unite advocates and allies. This event will give our community members space to express their experiences and feelings through a variety of artistic expressions AND empower advocates and allies to show their solidarity. We are inviting you to participate in this community event. This is an open mic night with the goal of providing a safe space to both celebrate diversity, inclusion, and equity, as well as engage in constructive dialogue, provide awareness, and connect with each other to rise above experiences of injustice and inequity both in medicine and in the world around us.

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2105: A Designer Baby Odyssey

By: Laura Browder, Associate Attorney at Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP

Celeste was yanked out of a dreamless sleep by a sudden wave of vibrations traveling up her left wrist. Fumbling with the sleek ceramic face of the watch – if it could even be called a watch, with its time-telling ability often overshadowed by its myriad other capabilities – she managed to align her right index finger on the screen with the surgical-like precision that the device seemed to require. The vibrations stopped, only to be replaced by the shrill voice of Isabelle Hall, her crisis-prone assistant.   Continue reading “2105: A Designer Baby Odyssey”