Ever throw your white coat into the washer with a sneaky pen stuck in the pocket that you thought you had removed, only to take out your coat after the cycle is complete to see every inch of it adorned in malicious blue streaks? Well, that unfortunately happened to me recently and I truly believed my coat was a goner and I would have to shell out over $100 for a new one. I naturally pulled out all the tricks in the book for removing stains, hoping to salvage what I could. Soaked the stains in warm water and sprayed with stain remover with subsequent scrubbing, applied hand sanitizer to the affected parts in hopes of breaking up the ink bonds. None of these methods worked to my dismay, so I decided to get creative and apply a combination of techniques. I initially went out to the store to search for rubbing alcohol, but as this was just in the beginnings of coronavirus hysteria, shelves were wiped clean of every possible cleaning product. I was able to find a bleach pen, and went to town on what seemed like endless amounts of stains on my coat. Prior to scrubbing each stain meticulously with bleach, I had re-applied the hand sanitizer. It was not evident immediately, but the bleach seemed to work on most stains, provided I scrubbed back and forth enough times! Although this was a whole day affair that resulted in 6+ hours of effort, I was victorious to product an almost good-as-new white coat after throwing it in the wash for the second time. Some may say the effort was not worth it, but I consider it one of the best light-hearted victories in my medical school career.
Voices From the Ground
Alex is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As an avid lover of the intellect and interspecialty collaboration associated with medicine, she is excited to be applying for Internal Medicine residency programs. Her interest in medicine largely stems from her volunteer work in free clinics in underserved communities and experiences growing up with a brother with autism.
Before attending medical school, Alex completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2014 and her Master of Public Health (concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology) at Yale University in 2016.
When she is not working in the hospital or studying, you can find Alex running by the lake, doing circuit workouts outdoors in the fields, drawing and/or writing, or at home spending time with her family in the suburbs of Chicago.