White Coat

With Danielle (left) at our White Coat Ceremony, St. George’s University (Jan 2008)

Danielle Krol was one of the first people I met at med school orientation, and over the years, we were classmates, student government peers, and friends.  She came to my rescue during my first term at SGU by helping me figure out how to tackle my nemesis: biochemistry.

I was immediately impressed not only by Danielle’s efficient note-taking system (complete with color-coded highlighting!) and her understanding of enzymes, but also by her ability, despite the stressors of school, to remain upbeat and positive–and to always be the best dressed in lecture each day!

Danielle mentioned something in passing that stuck with me:  “When you look good, you study better.”  And it’s totally true!  In whatever setting, when you take the time and put the effort into personally caring for yourself, it affects your mental outlook and emotional health. This concept is fundamental to Liz & Ett, and part of why I so strongly believe in blending dignity, comfort, and style.  Whether you’re a patient in a hospital, or a med student slogging through biochem, feeling that you look your best, innately makes you feel better.

While Danielle’s caregiving experience drove her to become a physician, my caregiving journey led me away from clinical medicine.  She had shared her story about caring for her mom with me when we were in Grenada, long before I had any idea that caregiving would change my life, as well.

Danielle–make that, Dr. Krol!–is now an Internal Medicine resident in Philadelphia, and publishes the blog DailyDoseMD, a website dedicated to supporting women in healthcare.  She recently posted Kristine Rudolph‘s moving piece on my story and shared her own powerful caregiving experience.

med student daysWho knew that five years after this photo (above) was taken at our White Coat ceremony that we’d be supporting each other in this way?  As cliche as it sounds, life is full of twists and turns, but it’s the friends that are there for you along the way that make the journey worthwhile.  Perhaps this type of chemistry is the most important after all.

This post is dedicated to all of my med school classmates, who I will always consider dear friends, and to Danielle’s mom, who I never had the opportunity to meet, but whose spirit Danielle lovingly channels in all that she does.