Foundations Student Experience blog: Negotiating our role as the Humans of 2T0

Jan 24, 2017
Author: 
Alexandra Majerski, class of 2T0

Alexandra Majerski interviews students for the Humans of 2T0 project

The Humans of 2T0 project reminds us that 'a human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable' - Eileen Caddy.

The theme of the first year medical students' most recent Portfolio component session was that of the Physician as Person. We were asked to think of a personal experience where we were faced with a conflict between the roles we experience as medical students and our personal roles. Role strain occurs when individuals attempt to negotiate their various relationships: between family, partners and/or children, themselves, and with professional peers such as other students, residents, attending physicians, and patients. Discussions tended to focus on our emerging identity as physicians and strategies we can use now and in the future to de-stress, remain grounded, and live well-rounded lives. I couldn't help but think about the chronicling of journeys travelled by 2T0s that's being done by the Humans of 2T0 project.

A spin-off of the popular Humans of New York project created by Brandon Stanton in 2010 (and first begun by medical students at the U of T in 2012), the Humans of 2T0 interview and photography project captures the stories and images of the unique individuals that make up the 2020 graduating class. This year's project is spearheaded by Imaan Javeed and a team of 2T0s who are busy interviewing and photographing their fellow classmates.

I am very fortunate to be an interviewer and photographer for this project. To date, I've had the privilege of meeting with nearly two dozen of my unique classmates. As any of my interviewees can attest to, I always begin by asking the broadest of broad questions: "tell me about your journey to medicine." And from there, the conversation can go anywhere. But the interview offers an opportunity to get to know our peers in a way that day-to-day interactions don't allow. Seldom do we get the chance to reflect upon and verbalize the moments, adventures, and experiences that make us who we are today. I'm so thankful to be able to help bring forward for the interviewees the school-life balance that they've achieved in the past (and present!) by acknowledging each individual as a whole person. Certainly, the medical training in which we're engaged now and in the future is and will be stressful. A project such as Humans reminds us that, although we may wish to default to spending all of our time studying, we lose sight of those people and places that have moulded us into the unique beings we each are.

I encourage my fellow classmates to sign up for their interview because it's only when a montage of 259 faces is created that we can truly appreciate the people we are lucky to call peers, colleagues, and friends.  Check the Humans of 2T0 site often to get to know this year’s first year class.  

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