Listen to Episode 11 Below:

Show Notes:

This episode continues an investigation of medical education that began with last episode’s interview with Dr. Bonvin, now with a 4th year medical student, Malayna Hocker, who shares her journey into medicine as a career and evolution as a teacher. Initially resistant to the idea of pursuing medicine due to negative childhood experiences in hospitals, she explored various paths but eventually found her way back to medicine through teaching. Inspired by her love for science and a desire to serve the community, Before entering medical school Malayna taught in challenging environments, facing issues like student violence and family difficulties.

As she navigated this non-traditional path to medical school, Malayna’s teaching experiences continued to shape her perspective, as her teaching focus has evolved into an advocacy role, addressing discomfort and questioning aspects of medical culture. Malayna emphasizes the need to break the stereotypes in medicine, challenging the notion of perfection and the acceptance of toxic aspects within the profession. She believes that open conversations about challenges, doubts, and well-being are essential in reshaping the culture of medicine. Malayna also sees teaching as a means to advocate for both patients and fellow trainees, fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and collaboration.

Malayna emphasizes the need to break the cycle of isolation and shame ingrained in medical training and advocates for fostering a culture of support and openness. She believes that finding connection and breaking out of isolation are crucial for addressing burnout in the future. Malayna expresses joy in learning, helping patients live the lives they want, and engaging in teaching. She highlights the importance of maintaining one’s personhood and finding fulfillment both in and outside of the medical profession.



Malayna Hocker, 4th Year Medical Student

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry


Other resources:

America Reads Program: existing in amny institutions of higher education, this website describes the program at Arizona State University:

Shame in Medical Education:

Bynum WE 4th, Varpio L, Lagoo J, Teunissen PW. ‘I’m unworthy of being in this space’: The origins of shame in medical students. Med Educ. 2021 Feb;55(2):185-197. doi: 10.1111/medu.14354. Epub 2020 Sep 13. PMID: 32790934.

The Shame Conversation: A short documentary film created by Dr. Will Bynum depicting conversations about experiences with shame in healthcare.