by Nicole Dussalt, Afia Khan, Tae Yeon Kim, and Natalia Khosla, MS1s
Earlier this month, a group of medical students from the University of Chicago came together to discuss our fears and frustrations in the wake of the Executive Order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The overarching national dialogue around race, immigration, and refugees had left us disheartened; and we reflected on the difficulty we faced in navigating both our academic and civic responsibilities. As aspiring healthcare providers, we recognized that our primary role as future physicians was to first “Do No Harm.” Inaction in this moment—as our patients, their communities, and many of our own selves and families suffered—felt intolerable.
Harkening back to our lessons in Pritzker classes, we thought about how we could inquire on behalf of, and then advocate for the safety and wellbeing, of our patients. Toward the advocacy piece, we discussed concrete steps we could take to show our solidarity with affected communities. The photograph you see here is the culmination of this discussion. We reached out to students of all years, created signs that expressed our solidarity with the undocumented, immigrant, Black, Muslim, and refugee communities targeted by xenophobic and racist rhetoric, and took this photo.
While we cannot speak for the entire medical school or student body, this photo shows a wide array of students from all stages of their medical education. As always, we remain compelled by the mission statement of Pritzker: to devote ourselves toward the “betterment of humanity.” We hope this photo contributes to larger, national efforts working towards this aim.