Telling Stories of Challenges and Courage During Unprecedented Times

During challenging times, organizations like the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) encourage faculty and trainees to share and commemorate experiences. One such way was the AUR Storytelling Challenge, a joint initiative between the AUR and The Moth which asked participants to tell a story of courage during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Preethi Raghu, MD, assistant professor of clinical radiology in the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, took part in this challenge. Her story was about the experience of transitioning from medical training to being a newly minted attending physician in the COVID-19 pandemic era.

"Based on our story submissions, a handful of residents, fellows, and faculty across the nation were selected to participate in an intensive 5-day storytelling workshop with folks from The Moth," shares Dr. Raghu. "I learned a ton about the nuances of storytelling and how to craft powerful stories that connect with the audience."

Writing – in addition to radiology – has always been a passion of hers. Dr. Raghu is an active member of the Pegasus Physician Writers Group at Stanford University. This is an independent group of academic and private practice physicians in various stages of career development who also write creatively. Matthew Bucknor, MD, assistant professor at UCSF Radiology, is also a member. Drs. Raghu and Bucknor both completed fellowships at Stanford before joining the faculty at UCSF.

When asked about the opportunity to participate in the AUR Storytelling Challenge, Dr. Raghu says that it was an ideal way to share her passion for writing with fellow radiologists. "I am grateful to my colleagues at UCSF for bringing this opportunity to my attention and urging me to pursue it," she says. "Especially during such a difficult year, creative outlets are a great way to balance the rigor of our daily work."  

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