Canon EOS 7d / Max Pixel

I never thought “The Longest Night” would be drawn out so, well, long! When I heard the once popular song by The Crusaders for the umpteenth time (albeit a year or two between takes), I became inspired to write about my own. I thought maybe my readers would find it interesting. Never had I imagined those readers would include Editor Toni Gallo of Academic Medicine, the journal of The Association of American Medical Colleges; or that my story would be requested as a tool (with revisions) to educate physicians. Of course, I was honored! And thrilled. And intimidated. Fortunately for me, I have the benefit of classes in public speaking, opinion writing and digital marketing with some great volunteer editors to boost my confidence. That version of the story was posted on AAMC’s blog that accompanies the journal. Much to my surprise and maybe chagrin, the blog piece was very well received. This led to a call from Dev Clarke, video specialist with AAMC. This time the request was for that which I dread most: a video interview. I hate being on camera for many reasons: mostly vanity, with a touch of cowardice. Selfish though I may be, I’m at least rationally so. If my experience can be a comfort and aid to others or my story used to prevent another from suffering, how dare I withhold or withdraw? As another Street Sense writer once admonished, “Get off our apathy and do something about US!” The video was posted on Association of American Medical Colleges website on April 26. I was very impressed by their production and honored to be a contributor. Many thanks to Toni Gallo and Dev Clarke, who were not only professional but made this an enjoyable collaboration. When encountering citizens that may be housing deprived, it would be wisest for our actions and comments to be prefaced by the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm.” They are going through enough.