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A man standing next to the change med ed 2023 banner.


What do you do it for? This week, please think about your reasons for doing the work that brings you joy, the play that makes you smile, or anything that adds to your life.

Read the remainder of this post! I will share about an eventful trip that encouraged me to help you rediscover reason in your activities.

Last week, I left Antigua to attend the American Medical Association's Change Med Ed Conference in Chicago and to run the Jailbreak Marathon in Waushura County, Wisconsin. Between a packed schedule, I also saw family and one childhood friend. Throughout my travels, I asked myself about the significance of life.

We are only here on this earth for a finite moment. Getting out of our routines can bring priorities into perspective.

Have you experienced asking questions about life and receiving responses from the Universe, God, Spirit, Jesus, Allah, or insert your proper noun here _______?

After a twelve-hour flight delay, I asked myself, what am I doing all of this for? I left my family at home to run a race and attend a conference.

One day after my scheduled arrival, I made it to Chicago.

During a coffee break at the Swissotel on Upper Wacker Drive, I heard someone say, "Dr. Lindsay." The formality immediately made me think about the university because most call me Vernon off campus. Then, I thought about the chances of anyone from Antigua, besides my co-presenter, being in Chicago for the conference.

I looked up and saw a former student from when I taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She took my class when I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Teaching and Mentoring at the Honors College. I learned that after finishing a Master of Public Health degree, she started medical school.

She signed up for the session when she read my name on the list of presenters.

Drs. Vernon Lindsay and Jobila Sy at Change Med 2023

My colleague in the Education Enhancement Department and I led an interactive workshop titled Making Space for They: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging in Medical Education. With percussion instruments from Capoeira and Liberian traditions, we illustrated how to create a course for medical school educators interested in supporting diverse learners. We began with an overview of our medical school, proceeded to share theoretical insights into the course, and ended with hands-on musical activities to engage in meaningful discussions.

If you're interested in a less than one-minute presentation clip, check out the video at the end of this post.

After the workshop, my former student told me about how she advocated for a Black history course at a local school. Leading her team, she explained her successful efforts to convince the administration to modify the curriculum. I told her about how proud I was of her accomplishments.

What did you get from that story? Maybe your mind shifted toward a story about the ousting of Kevin McCarthy. It's historic. I get it.

Now, refocus on the next question. What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

What am I working towards every day? In my professional role, I'm working to make meaningful contributions to inclusive learning environments. I left the conference with a notebook full of ideas.

Make time to think about the significance of your activities today.

Subscribe to this blog at this link because I will share more from the conference and some juggernaut takeaways from my last marathon in 2023.

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Does it bring lasting peace, justice and a will to help others?

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