Discover Rosh Hashanah: The Human Touch by Dr. Jackie Yaris

The story is about the time when Dr. Yaris was a medical student and was doing rotation. The rotation that she discussed was the surgical one. She discussed the nature of surgeons and the surgical field, especially her chief of staff, Dr. Rosen. The attitude of the surgeons and the field in general was a hard one and very desensitized to the patients. It was all about the medical aspect of the profession. There was a patient nicknamed "Yoda" that left an impression. She was an elderly patient from Mexico that had a very calm and almost serene presence. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and which the surgeons responded with wanting to do a Whipple surgery. There was an interaction where the surgeons were examining her and were all focused on the medical side, all wanting the experience of performing the Whipple, while Yoda stood there peacefully. Yoda would die from pancreatic cancer. Dr. Yaris then meets Dr. Rosen three years later at the oncology department at a private hospital. Dr. Rosen's 36 year old sister was there for cervical cancer. She died the next day and discussed with Dr. Yaris how difficult it was to be on the other side of cancer. She later on received information on a required seminar for the medical school she went to called "Morality in Medicine: How to Apply the Human Touch to Surgery." I liked the story because it shows that through our experiences in life we can become desensitized and loose focus on the important things in our lives. The story showed through life experience we do change and can become aware and grow. Sometimes we believe that it is impossible to change, but life and G-d will always give us opportunities to do so. A time where my family experienced real change was when my own father got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had the Whipple procedure. This story really hits home because that was a life changing event for my family. My father was always the one who took care everything and provided for our family. I always looked up to my father as well. Seeing my father battle cancer for 4 years broke my heart and made me feel real loss. I changed because I understand how precious life is and how difficult it is to lose someone you love. It changed my family to the core because we had to live with a family member with a serious disease. At the end my father was not the same person and this really changed me. It made me and my mother stronger and forced us to see what is important in life.

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Liana Shelyubsky
Israel Recharge '16

Points Earned: 8