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She wanted to save the world.

She found it hard to save one person.

July 12, 2017

LKSOM third year student Dhanalakshmi Thiyagarajan.

Nearly a year ago, I received an email from Dhanalakshmi Thiyagarajan, now a third year medical student here at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. “I recently went to the Philippines for a medical mission trip,” Dhanu wrote. “It affected me a lot. I have attached a very rough draft of my general feelings and facts of what happened. I don’t really know if it’s a story worth sharing or just something that I could work on for my personal benefit…”

The draft was rough. But it had the bones of a good story, a profound and transformative experience for the future doctor. She began rewriting. Dr. Manish Garg, an emergency room physician at Temple and Director of Global Medicine, gave her much advice and editing as well. Her effort paid off.

Read Dhanu’s story, published in the new issue of the International Journal of Academic Medicine.

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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.