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Academic Medicine Podcast

Jul 12, 2021

"To my future patients I say this: When you give me the gift of your feelings, I may still freeze up for a moment, wondering how to best show that I care. But I will take this lesson that a global pandemic taught me and give space and significance to your emotion—and we will look at it, together."

Baila Elkin is a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Reflecting on the experience of making contact-tracing calls, Baila shares how learning to listen to and acknowledge the emotions living behind words can deepen the personal connection with patients.

This essay was published in the Teaching and Learning Moments column in the July 2021 issue of Academic Medicine. Read the essay at