As part of the May 11th Messages of Hope Awareness Event, Dr. Grach, May Clinic Internal Medicine Resident recorded her message to be included in the live event moderated by BHC Executive Director, Rob Ence. The following is a transcript of that segment of the awareness program. 

Rob Ence: Dr. Bateman started a tradition years ago with great pride to introduce as many people as she could. Providers or individuals going on to medical school or PA school or NP school or anytime somebody wanted to come down and shadow and learn from the clinic and we have tried to really amplify those opportunities in the recent months and most recently we had Dr. Stephanie Grach who was a resident from the Mayo Clinic come and spend a month with us at the Bateman Horne Center and she just wrapped her tenure there up last week and we debriefed with her today and she has recorded a very specific message for this group.

Dr. Grach: Hi everyone my name is Stephanie Grach and by the time you’re watching this I’ll have recently completed a month-long rotation at the Bateman Horne Center. I am a current third-year internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education and will be an attending physician in Mayo Clinics Division of General Internal Medicine where I plan to practice in our fibromyalgia POTS ME/CFS and long COVID Clinics.

A lot of people ask how I got interested in ME complex chronic illness. Essentially I’ve seen how patients with unexplained syndromes are handled in the medical system and it never sat that well with me. So when I started at Mayo and my attending physician helped me approach my patient with fibromyalgia with as much ease as say high blood pressure I was excited and the attending was actually from the Division of General Internal Medicine which housed the fibromyalgia clinic and so as a second year I arranged an elective month in the general internal medicine division where I was then introduced to patients with POTS and ME/CFS as well and well that was that. It didn’t take long for me to get involved from the research side as well but I also watched documentaries learned the history and read the experiences of patients on social media and ultimately I became dedicated not just because it was an interesting clinical and research focus but because it felt like the right thing to do and I wondered what I could really offer in my current position as a resident but then I talked with my amazingly receptive co-residents and providers across specialties and I was able to give lectures about fibromyalgia and later on long COVID and it became clear that I had a voice that was still powerful and I think that’s because I’m a provider and every provider who understands is someone with colleagues who can learn from them and every colleague who learns is another provider who can help diagnose a patient or at least assure them that they’re not alone and because every healthcare worker has the potential to make that difference for tens hundreds maybe thousands of patients over the course of their practice that means fewer people are left in this massive diagnostic void and so I feel so honored to be able to use my voice not only for raising awareness in my fields but also because of BHC today to give hope that good things are happening.

I am so thankful to my current programs leadership for encouraging me to keep learning in hopes of continually improving ourselves as will undoubtedly be the results of my time spent with the Bateman Horne Center and to everyone here thank you for being the voices that will keep me doing the best I can in the times to come.

Click here to watch the video of her message.

Click here to watch the Messages of Hope Awareness Event in full.

#Hope4MECFS #Hope4FM #Hope4LongCOVID #MillionsMissing

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