"Our fellowship is designed to help highly motivated students realize their dream of a career in medicine or health care."
Dr. Steven Lin, MD
Executive Director of COMET Fellowship
Class of 2020
"COMET has transformed my life in many ways, by being an irreplaceable experience that academically and clinically has contributed to my future career in family medicine. My undergraduate studies gave me a platform to investigate health disparities on a local and national level, but COMET is an endeavor that provides an immeasurable amount of mentorship and support. I’ve never felt so empowered and driven to learn new clinical skills while pursuing research that embodies the point of it all—making our communities healthier and safer. We are motivated to become community leaders, and to persevere despite any failures or challenges on the way to our destinies, which makes our journeys even more meaningful. I joined COMET last year, June 2019. I was homeless, and living out of my car with a 6 year old. Now, I have my very own apartment and my son just finished first grade at Stanford’s campus elementary. I heavily endorse the idea that COMET embraces personal growth and does so by providing the upmost level of support. With pride and gratitude, I look forward to the next year as Senior Fellow Scribe and I wish COMET incoming and outgoing scribes the best of luck with all their future endeavors. Thank you COMET. It’s been a honor."
Class of 2020
Below is Melissa's letter to Dr. John Clarke, her COMET mentor:
As a last note, I just wanted to express how much working with you has meant to me. Initially I was planning on hand writing this but my handwriting is such chicken scratch even I can barely read it. I had always been interested in GI after having some experience on the surgical side during a global health fellowship where I was placed in Athens, Greece. Coming into this Stanford fellowship the majority of my medical experience was very heavily weighted on emergency medicine. With the fast pace of the ER, the patient-physician interaction is always rushed and often not joyous for either party given the nature of the environment. Working alongside you has shown me the kind of physician I aspire to be; patient, kind, empathetic, caring, and calm. I have never seen you be stressed in any situation (even on the occasion where we may be over an hour behind, patients complaining, or when our name-recognizable complicated patients were verbally expressing disdain for their lengthy wait-time &/or complicated condition). You have met every instance with an open heart and nothing but kind words. More
I think it's an easy-out (or perhaps a coping mechanism) in the ER to speed through bedside conversations and brush off difficult cases with sarcasm and jokes while back in the dictation room. I think the hardest work emotionally is to be on the same level as a patient and do everything possible to alleviate their pain and discomfort. One of the most amazing things I tell people when I describe the type of doctor you are: you will see any patient no matter how late because your patients drive for extensive hours, and even fly through states to come see you. If they end up being late, we still see them no matter what because they knew their care with you is worth their trek to get here. With you, I've seen patients cry tears of joy and relief when they tell you that you have cured them and they're currently asymptomatic. I've seen patients bring you chocolates for being such a one-of-a-kind physician, and others hand knit you socks (the cute old German woman, and you gave a pair to me- I LOVE them). One of the most valuable things I think I have learned is how to deal with very complex patients who fly all over the world for different physician opinions, and how to manage their cases and work within a team to provide the best care possible to them in such a fragile state.
Because of you, I have an amazingly solid grasp on GI in terms of the commonly uncommon diagnoses and cases we see daily. Through all of this experience, I am confident when I now tell others that I want to pursue GI as a career specialty. I've always put off answering the question "what do you want to specialize in" because obviously I haven't seen everything possible and am not yet a medical student. However, I will always hold GI in my top place after this fellowship because of you.
I cannot express enough how honored I am to get the opportunity to be on a paper with you, and to have a letter of recommendation coming from you this next application cycle. The ability to have worked with you was a gift in itself, and everything else you've given me with it has been invaluable and incredibly appreciated.
I promise I won't let myself ever get apathetic down the line in my career. I will honor the practice of empathy and patience for every individual I encounter no matter how challenging the case or day is.
Thank you for giving me a life changing fellowship"
Class of 2020
"The Stanford COMET Fellowship is an eye-opening and immersive experience for any student who is considering a career in medicine or health care. Not only do students have the opportunity to scribe and work alongside renowned faculty, but the program is also organized in such a way that students are supported in every unique fashion, whether it be through shadowing opportunities, research, or mentorship.
My experience has been invaluable. I have learned both a breadth and depth of clinical knowledge, and the equally important intangible aspects of medicine. I am also happy to have made many friends who will be my future colleagues. I know that I will be taking the lessons and insights I have gained at COMET with me as I enter a career in medicine."
Class of 2017
"COMET Scribe Fellowship was first taken as a once in a lifetime learning opportunity, yet it became more than that. It became the foundation of my nursing career and my vision for the future of healthcare. Transcribing for multiple providers was more than just enhancing patient to provider office experience. Instead, it was about giving patients the opportunity to be heard and feel valued. This fellowship gave me the exposure to multiple invaluable skills such as, medical diagnosing, physical examinations, critical thinking, prioritization, research, and therapeutic communication. Thanks to those skills and knowledge I was a step ahead in nursing school. Stanford’s Family Medicine Clinic is the true definition of dedication and passion for preventative health. This program opened up many paths for me, and shaped me into the type of nurse I will be in two weeks. Family Medicine is AWESOME!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou"
Class of 2017
"COMET, in short, is a program designed for highly motivated students who want to pursue a passion in medicine. When I first applied, I assumed it would be an intensive medical learning experience. I was wrong - it was so much more than that. Through this program, I’ve gained a multitude of opportunities including: compassionate mentorship, exposure to world-class healthcare, the privilege to present at a national research conference, and the chance to collaborate on pioneering research in the gender sexual minority (GSM) community, to say the very least.
With Stanford Primary Care as a pioneering movement, COMET fellows are few among many in the frontline of healthcare continually setting the standard of compassionate care."
Class of 2016
"Stanford’s COMET Fellowship has been an invaluable learning opportunity which I was fortunate to be have been accepted into during an important transition in my education between earning a Master's Degree in Public Health and applying to physician assistant school.
This fellowship gave me the chance to learn medical terminology, clinical documentation, and gain experience in clinical research. Furthermore, I was provided real world exposure to the practice of family medicine and professional mentorship from Stanford faculty. I highly recommend the COMET Fellowship to any pre-health student who has a passion for family medicine and who desires to make a difference through research and clinical care."
Class of 2017
"My experience in Stanford Family Medicine has had a profound positive impact on my life. The culture of teamwork I experienced everyday provided me with the knowledge that the healthcare setting can be a warm and welcoming environment. The opportunity to room patients provided me with an active role in patient care. I’ve gained firsthand experience of thorough, patient-centered care under time constraints without sacrificing compassion. Having been involved in every step of the patient-care process, I’ve made friends, gained the ability to relate with children and adults, learned to effectively and efficiently distill dialogues into clean and concise notes, and become familiarized with the science and the art of medicine. More This process isn’t without its challenges. And I’m saying it with joy, for they are the opportunities that helped me to transcend my limitations. In doing so, I’m grateful for the physicians and the chief scribe who have always been willing to teach and mentor, and for the staff and fellows whom I feel have become my family, supporting me each step of the way. I owe it to the people, the system, and the process of Stanford Family Medicine for being an instrumental part in coming to absolute clarity regarding my career path."
Class of 2016
"Scribing in the Family Medicine Clinic opened my eyes to the amazing world of Primary Care. I knew coming into the fellowship that this was a special place, with physicians that wanted to share their cumulative knowledge of preventative care and promoting healthy lifestyles. Scribing with the COMET program has helped me grow as an individual personally and professionally. I know that my time here has provided me with insights into patient care and a general base of knowledge I will carry with me into medical school and beyond."
Class of 2017
"I entered COMET expecting primarily a medical scribe experience, but it ended being so much more. Of course, being a scribe is still the foundation of the program, and through being a scribe, I learned a lot of primary care physician's routine workload in the clinic: from medical terminology to formatting patient visit notes. COMET puts me in the forefront of innovations in primary care. I was able to sit in on meetings that discussed innovative methods of treatment preventative care, and I was even able to work on projects myself that could improve care delivery and patient well-being! And to top it all off, i got the chance to work with one of the nicest teams ever: everyone seems happy to be working here, and everyone is always ready to help each other out. I'm going to miss my time in COMET. In my time here I have learned so many valuable lessons that will benefit me as I enter a career in medicine." More
"COMET has given me a solid clinical foundation as I start my training in medical school at Case Western Reserve University. From our very first lesson in which we discussed population health, I was immediately reminded of examples of population health management happening in Stanford Family Medicine, such as monitoring blood pressure trends and classes in diabetes management.
My time at COMET has benefited me as we began clinical skills training, as every physician I worked under had amazing clinical skills I can only begin to emulate. By watching physicians run through review of systems and physical exams, I was already in familiar territory as I started asking questions for review of systems and performing physical exams myself.
Another asset that COMET has greatly benefited me in was familiarity with the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) format. We have just begun learning how to write patient visit notes and giving oral presentations: both follow the SOAP format; which I am able to do quickly, much to the surprise of my preceptors in medical school.
Lastly, I completed my time in COMET at Stanford Family Medicine, which has one of the best teams I have been a part of in the workplace. Currently I am part of an interprofessional learning team in which I train with nursing and physician assistant students regarding patient care. The value of mutual respect for each individual’s contributions allows me to work effectively with my peers in the clinical setting. This value was engendered in me during my time as a COMET fellow with the Stanford Family Medicine team."
Class of 2018
"Working as a medical scribe gave me a hands-on experience about what it would be like to work as a physician. I learned good bedside manners, how to interact with patients and navigate visits. I would see the process of physicians making medical decisions, and could study them on my own to understand why and how that decision was made. Part of my job was to write the assessment and plan on the visit note, and that required me to think as a physician would. This was difficult, but ultimately this was the part of the note that really helped expand my medical knowledge. I also greatly appreciated the incredible interactions I had with patients. One of my favorite things was seeing continuity patients, as they would remember me, and I would remember them. It was exciting to see ongoing patient-physician relationships. More
I greatly value the mentoring relationship I had with all my providers. Working with a wide range of providers really allowed me to enrich my experience. I could ask questions about medical school and career advice, as well as medical questions about any patients we had seen that day. Seeing my providers act as mentors to all the scribes and medical students made me want to be like them - caring, kind, encouraging, with a teaching mindset. I hope to take their approach towards students and incorporate that into my own professional career later because I know how important it has been for me to receive such support, and I wish to give back what I have experienced.
One of the takeaways for me has been that medicine is not just about hitting the books and gaining knowledge. It is not just about being book smart. There is such a big humanistic component when it comes to being a good physician, and scribing has really driven that point home for me. It has made me more passionate about being active and doing stuff outside what you would normally do in a classroom. That involves taking initiative to start projects, volunteering and community service, advocating for certain causes, and researching about current issues in medicine. It also involves cultivating interpersonal skills and learning to communicate professionally and compassionately.
Finally, scribing has taught me the importance of primary care. My previous clinical experiences were limited to highly specific specialties, and while they were interesting, I did not know much about how hospitals were run or what doctors really did. Working in primary care was the thing that really diversified my experience."
Class of 2018
"I'd like to express my gratitude for the COMET fellowship in helping prepare me for my future as a PA! it gave me great insights to share during interviews--panels were impressed by how specifically I understood challenges faced by geriatric populations. it has also increased my confidence that healthcare is the right career path for me."
Updated: July 2020