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The Larner Stories Project is a new video series that features candid, one-on-one conversations with University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Alumni, Upperclassmen (M3’s and M4’s), and Faculty that faced personal challenges during their time in medical school and training, but nevertheless overcame these challenges or grew stronger because of them.

This is a project for medical students, by medical students (current or former). These stories are meant to serve as a living testament to the coping skills and resources that worked for the storyteller, while reminding those viewing the videos (i.e. medical students) that they are not alone.

Watch the trailer


Pilot Episode - Chris Veal '21

Pilot Episode ScreenshotFrom the beginning Chris Veal (LCOM 21') felt as if a black cloud hung over him as he embarked on his medical education. After the death by suicide of his best friend just 5 months prior to his first day of class, the rejection of him by his family after he disclosed he was gay, and a growing depression that became more omnipresent with each passing day, he knew that one day, something was going to give. That day came on a cold and snowy day in early January 2018 after failing a course remediation and being asked by a dean "Are you sure you really want to become a doctor?" Breathless from years of suffocating depression and weak from a year and a half of fighting his own inner demons and insecurities Chris had, had enough.

Sometimes it is at the moments we are most hopeless that we discover who we truly are. In our pilot episode of The Larner Stories Project, the project's founder (Chris) candidly discusses how he overcame remarkable challenges and used these experiences to rediscover himself, and accept the help that had been waiting for him since he walked through the doors of the Larner College of Medicine.

Watch the pilot episode

Episode 2 - Elizabeth Lynch '21

Elizabeth Lynch 2

As the saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” For Elizabeth Lynch (LCOM 21’), this sentiment encapsulated the torment she felt as she worked her way through her early years of medical school. While she may have always looked and acted the part, deep down she fought every day to keep it all together. But as every medical student knows, medical school and specifically USMLE Step 1, has a way of penetrating our deepest insecurities and opening up a version of ourselves that we sometimes fail to recognize. For Elizabeth this manifested itself as an eating disorder. But it was through the love and support of her friends and family, the expertise of a competent therapist, and the testimony of a fellow classmate that reminded her that she was not alone. While she emphasizes her journey is far from over, she shares with us the importance of honesty and authenticity with ourselves and our friends and colleagues. 

Watch the episode