Walk in his Shoes: When Breath Becomes Air

06 Mar 2016

This month, we are reading Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. Join us for a tweetchat Sunday, March 13th at 8pm EST by following @WomenSurgeons and the #AWSFood4Thought.

I honestly did not know what to expect from the book. When I told friends about my pre-order, they wondered whether they too could read the book as it sounded “terribly sad.” As I picked it up one evening – a break from studying general surgery – I found myself bracing for an emotional challenge.

I was genuinely surprised that I could not put the book down. Being in my Chief Resident year, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Paul from English major to medical student to neurosurgery resident. I had the acute feeling that I was walking in his shoes. I appreciated the patient anecdotes, reminding me of my own patients who raised similar questions in my training. His eloquent writing style raising in my mind memories of my own path to becoming a surgeon, questions about life goals, mortality, love.

Take a look back at medical student Shree Agrawal’s thoughts on Part I of the book (@ShreeAgrawal21). Next week, Dr. Jane Zhao (@jzhao3) will write another #AWSFood4Thought post on Part II. Join us for a tweetchat Sunday, March 13th at 8pm EST by following @WomenSurgeons and the #AWSFood4Thought.


minerva-romero-bio-pic1Minerva A. Romero Arenas, MD, MPH is a General Surgery Resident at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. She received her MD and her MPH from The University of Arizona College of Medicine and the Zuckerman College of Public Health in 2009. She studied Cell Biology and French at Arizona State University as an undergraduate. Follow @minervies on Twitter.

Her interests include surgical endocrinology & oncology, global health, health disparities, quality improvement, and genomics. A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Romero Arenas is passionate about recruiting the next generation of surgeons and is involved in mentoring through various organizations.

She enjoys fine arts, films, gastronomy, and sports. She enjoys jogging, swimming, and kickboxing. Most importantly, Dr. Romero Arenas treasures spending time with her family and loved ones.

Our blog is a forum for our members to speak, and as such, statements made here represent the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association of Women Surgeons.

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