A journal of shared discovery

Cancer patient and med student trade journal in telling their stories

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Stanford University medical student Tara Murty and cancer patient Michael Furze were paired up in a Stanford program called Walk With Me that is designed to teach future doctors the power of empathy.

During the course of the program, Murty and Furze shared their thoughts and personal stories in a journal they traded back and forth. Here are excerpts from their journal:

Cancer patient Michael Furze

“Cancer treatment has been long and hard, using up lots of my time. Doctors and hospitals have eaten up time and energy, leaving little time for building new memories to cherish.”

“She was to receive the perspective of a patient. I was to get something else from her — a fresh young mind filled with hope and ambition. And empathy led to a great deal of healing. The perspective changed from damage to healing.”

“As we share our lives with each other, we can both enjoy the lives we have while admiring and appreciating the life of the other.”

Medical student Tara Murty

“Our conversations somehow comfortably move from the updates of medical school and the weather to talks of cancer, life and dying. The weight of these is so clear and yet it’s easy to talk with Michael. He is so genuine and open — and I can tell he trusts me.”

“Would he ever have imagined his life would be like this? Would he be surprised at the way he has shaped Stanford Medicine? How he has shaped me as I am becoming a doctor?”

“Sometimes randomness can bring together two people who maybe otherwise would not have intersected. From two different walks; different experiences; different ages, hometowns and favorite meals.”

Link to the full story of the Walk With Me program.