The PLEXUS staff wishes to recognize the hard work and support of the following individuals: Dean Thomas Cesario MD, Ellena Peterson MD, Gayle Pierce, Linda Hill, Carroll Rudy, Dale Fukuda from Printing Division.
Co-Editors-in-Chief: Sarah Mourra, Boback Ziaeian
Audio: Joshua Waltzman
Creative Writing: Sarah Mourra
Layout & Design: Boback Ziaeian
Marketing & Outreach: Manijeh Torki
Visual Arts: Grace Sun
Audio: Lauren Cheung
Creative Writing: Akiva Kahn
Layout & Design: Mariam Naqvi
Marketing & Outreach: Janet Lim
Visual Arts: Vicky Millay
Selection Editors: Antony Hazel, Pooya Javidan, Jane Lee
Selection Committee: Sarah Blaschko, Rasha Hindiyeh, Meghann Kaiser, Brian McMichael, C. Gail Ryan, Roya Saisan, Lena R. Schultz, Tracy Slone, Randy Wei
Faculty Advisors: Johanna Shapiro, PhD; Lloyd Rucker, MD
PLEXUS is a student-organized journal of the arts and humanities that showcases creative work by medical students, physicians, faculty, and others in the UC Irvine medical community. Through the universal language of art, the journal aspires to connect those who seek to heal and be healed.
We hope that PLEXUS will always serve as a creative and welcoming space in which we can all reflect and express our various emotional journeys in medicine and in life. Medicine, especially in recent years, may feel like a solitary endeavor. Now, more than ever, we hope PLEXUS provides solace and community to all who contribute to and view its pages.
Identity is the fact of being or knowing what and who we are – an intrinsic property of ourselves and our world that can be challenged, taken for granted, and ultimately shaped by how we choose to live. This year's 24th edition of PLEXUS, Identity, focuses on the experiences and reflections that make us who are. We are moved by forces and convictions that define our individual identities, our motivations in healthcare, and our society. Let us celebrate the triumphs and mourn the losses that carry us to the present and remember the hopes and ambitions we have for the future.
We are incredibly grateful to our amazing community for their support in sustaining PLEXUS. We would like to give special thanks to our faculty advisors Drs. Juliet McMullin, Tan Nguyen, and Frank Meyskens. As well as the Endowed Program in Medical Humanities & Arts and the Department of Family Medicine. This journal would not have been possible without their continuous support and guidance.
We hope you enjoy PLEXUS 2023: Identity.
Kenneth Schmitt (MS4), Celina Yang (GR1), Ashley Hope (MS4)
Editors in Chief
(Front cover) Tower, Clifford Danza, MS1
(Background image) Salt of the Earth. Ashley Hope, MS4
Sponsors: School of Medicine Dean’s Office, Office of Educational Affairs, Office of Admissions
The PLEXUS staff wishes to recognize the hard work and support of the following: Ellena Peterson, PhD; Johanna Shapiro, PhD; Dale Fakuda from Printing Division Inc.
Last Year’s Editors: Rod Mortazavi, Neera Sodhi
Co-editors in Chief: Charitha Reddy, Maheen Hassan
Managing Editor: Mohammad Shaikh
Audio: Joe Treister
Hospital Beautification: Christina Umber
Creative Writing: Jennifer Aloo, Mohammad Shaikh
Layout & Design: Maheen Hassan
Marketing & Outreach: Madhukar Patel
Visual Arts: Charitha Reddy
Audio: Matthew Fradkin
Creative Writing: Nupoor Narula
Layout & Design: Chase Warren
Marketing & Outreach: Phillip Ngai
Visual Arts: Phillip Ngai
Selection Editor: Justin Tilan
Staff: Clifford Lau, Alexander Lin, Kirellos Zamary, Virginia Liu
Faculty Advisor: Johanna Shapiro, PhD
UCI School of Medicine (c) 2009 PLEXUS
Published works were contributed by UCI School of Medicine students, physicians, faculty, alumni, and patients.
This year’s Project Hx features stories surrounding relationships - how relationships with our families and loved ones have helped us through medicine, and the trials of those who find entering new relationships difficult given the constraints of medical school. We hope that, by highlighting these stories, readers will appreciate that medicine truly requires a community. As always, we are grateful for those who form our support system - we could not have done this without you. A special thank you to our faculty advisors Dr. Johanna Shapiro and Dr. Tan Nguyen – this journal would not have been possible without their continuous support and guidance. We hope you enjoy this year’s copy of Project Hx: Relationships.
2020 Editors in chief: May Hui (MD/PhD student) and Janani Prasad (MS2)
Project Hx is a collection of narratives and photographs with a goal to highlight the rich diversity of the medical community. It is a portraiture of people’s stories and backgrounds, their experiences and adventures in healthcare, and ultimately a way to show a human side behind the oftentimes faceless nature of medicine. We aim to document these stories and perspectives in the form of biographical interviews and portrait photography as a way to provide our audience with daily glimpses into the human lives surrounding medicine. The people interviewed portray only a fraction of the countless number of unique attitudes and ideologies that represent the medical community, but we hope that it can serve as kindling for continued conversation. While reading the stories, please keep in mind that narratives are powerful only when they are genuine. They can be genuine only under the climate of acceptance and open-mindedness. Thus, we hope that each story is received free of judgment and prejudice.This year’s fourth issue is particularly personal, as it explores the thoughts and opinions that medical students and healthcare providers have regarding mental health in medicine, and their own personal journey towards finding strength in this profession. Given the intimate nature of this theme, most of our interviewees opted towards anonymity, but we are grateful that they were willing to step forward to reveal their personal struggles, and put a face - though not in the literal sense - on the true reality of mental health challenges that come with the rigorous journey towards becoming a physician.
Project Hx Team
UC Irvine School of Medicine
Editor-In-Chiefs: Thalia Nguyen, Soe Thein; Design Editor: May Hui
Project Hx is a collection of narratives and photographs with a goal to highlight the rich diversity of the medical community. It is a portraiture of people’s stories and backgrounds, their experiences and adventures in healthcare, and ultimately a way to show a human side behind the oftentimes faceless nature of medicine. The people interviewed only portray a fraction of the unique attitudes and ideologies that represent the medical community, but we hope that it can serve as kindling for continued conversation. While reading the stories, please keep in mind that narratives are powerful only when they are genuine. They can be genuine only under the climate of acceptance and open-mindedness. Thus, we hope that each story is received free of judgment and prejudice.
Of course, health involves prescriptions and understanding of the biochemistry of the body, but it also It involves emotional and cognitive perspectives, an understanding of cultural identity, and much more. In order to achieve optimal health care, we cannot ignore the benefit that comes from opening our doors and our minds to the story of others - the undocumented, refugees, people of color, differently abled, the LGBT+ community, the list goes on. Minority experiences quite literally color the fabric of U.S. history, and we hope that the 3rd publication of Project Hx will shed light on more personal perspectives of minorities in medicine.
Project Hx Team
UC Irvine School of Medicine
Editor-In-Chief: Thalia Nguyen; Design Editors: Patrick Penalosa, Diane Rhee; Photography by Julia Tran
This work would not have been possible without the advice and guidance from Dr. Johanna Shapiro, Dr. Ellena Peterson, Dr. Tan Nguyen and funding from UCI AMSG and UCISOM Office of Admissions.