By Emilee Lamorena
On Feb. 17, 2010, while I was teaching high school science in the Bronx, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I quickly left everything — my teaching fellowship, my master’s degree program and my friends — and returned to Chicago to be with my family and my mom.
I always knew I was going to work in health care, but I wasn’t sure which route or specialty I was really interested in. While I saw my mother suffering, I came to a very big realization: There is nothing in the world harder than watching someone you love struggle for a breath. It was the most helpless feeling to not be able to alleviate any of that hardship.
After caring for her through her illness (my mother passed away about 10 months after she was diagnosed), I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people breathe and supporting their loved ones. In 2011, I entered the Master of Science in Respiratory Care Program at Rush, where my mother received wonderful care, so I could help people care for their heart and lungs.
This third installment of a video series chronicling Rush University student Joe Santamaria’s first year of medical school shows him donning the clinician’s uniform in the official white coat ceremony.
“Our goal as we literally put the white coat on them is also figurative,” says Paul Kent, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics, “for them to wear that and feel this new sense that I need to know this, because if I don’t, someone will get hurt. Not because there’s going to be a test on it.”
This is the second in a series of videos featuring Joe Santamaria, a first-year medical student at Rush University. We’ll be checking in on him and sharing video updates throughout the school year.
Meet Joe Santamaria, a first-year medical student at Rush University. Steve Gadomski of the Rush Photo Group will be checking in on him and sharing video updates throughout the school year.
Larry Goodman, MD, assists Leo Henikoff, MD, with his regalia for Rush University’s commencement ceremony, 1992.
Henikoff served as president of Rush University and Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center from 1984 to 2002. Goodman has served as president of Rush University and CEO of Rush University Medical Center since 2002. At the time of this photo, Goodman was an associate professor of infectious diseases.
Rush University celebrates its 40th commencement ceremony on June 9, 2012.
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