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2021 Spring Story Slam

March 22, 2021
Story Slam 2021

Our 2021 Temple Story Slam was our best one yet. Our belief has long been that when people in medicine gather to share stories, everyone is lifted. That was so true and necessary -- after a year of a pandemic. Twelve storytellers, a mixture of doctors and medical students, told stories about losing patients, saving patients, and learning humbling but lifelong lessons from their patients. The storytellers shared moments that devastated them, infuriated them and inspired them. Most of all, this evening of stories helped us to pause, reflect, and remember what we love about medicine, why we chose this field, and what makes it both so difficult and so rewarding.

Because of the pandemic, this story slam was on Zoom rather than in the MERB. The audience, choosing the winners in a zoom poll at the end, voted Katya Ahr, a fourth-year medical student, as the winner. Her story was a powerful, poetic, autobiographical riff on the question asked 17 times in residency interviews: "Tell us about yourself."  We learned why she wants to be an oncologist and how far she has traveled in life to become one. Tying for second place were the last two presenters, Jenny Schadt, a third year medical student and Erin Camac, a pulmonary and critical care physician, who shared stories about their experiences with COVID-19 working at Temple. 

Watch Story Slam

Michael Vitez, winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the director of narrative medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.