Learning Workshop #6 Recap:
Orthopedics with Dr. Amanatullah

April 2024

Dr. Amanatulah came by to teach the scribes various surgical techniques he uses on a day-today basis. He walked scribes through typing various kinds of surgical knots, including slip notes and square knots. Then, scribes put their new skills to practice bu suturing together bananas! Finally, he showed us how to use and aim a drill, a common tool in his practice. He even gave the scribes extra sutures and thread to practice what they learned at home.

Learning Workshop #5 Recap:
Infectious Diseases with Dr. Furukawa, SUMMA Conference, and TopGolf Social

March 2024

In this workshop, Dr. Furukawa explained how social history affects how ID physcians construct a different diagnosis. He also discussed the different parts of a pain evaluation. At the end, the scribes role played as ID physicians for a few different case studies, including TB vs Cocci case and a fever in a returning travller case. We also enjoyed hearing about his pathway to Infectious Diseases. This was especially interesting for the scribes who enjoy puzzles and mystery investigations!

COMET's Holiday Social

Written by: Bryson Gomez, 2021-22 Chief Scribe

Happy holidays!

Over the weekend, COMET had its annual holiday party which allowed fellows to socialize with each other, have fun, and celebrate being halfway done with the academic year before heading into our winter break. We enjoyed delicious food catered by @elchilangocatering, decorated gingerbread houses, and talked about our plans for winter break. With fellowship being one of the three pillars of COMET, socials like this are foundational to the COMET experience.

What are your holiday plans?

Posted on 12/16/21

Feel Good Friday - Alumni Spotlight

Written by: Jacob Less, 2021-22 Chief Medical Scribe Emeritus

Name: Alexis Kofoed 

Hometown: Fairfield, CA

Undergraduate University: San Jose State University 

Post-Graduate Education: Touro University, MPH & Stanford University School of Medicine, PCAP

Current Profession: Physician Associate

COMET year: Class of 2016

Favorite memory from your time as a fellow:

"That’s a tough one! There are so many great memories to choose from. I think my favorite memory is representing COMET at the STFM National Conference in Minneapolis with Dr. Lin, Dr. Sattler and Cat Carragee. We had a blast presenting COMET on a national platform!"

Why did you decide to join COMET?

"Prior to COMET, I was an emergency room technician responding to acute health conditions for patients presenting in a vulnerable state of health. I practiced a reactive approach to medicine with the goal of keeping a patient stable, but always remained curious about patient follow-up and continuity of care once they were discharged from the ED. This experience showed me that the number one cause of death is not MVA’s or gunshot wounds, but diet-induced and cardiac related disease. I decided to join COMET to better understand how primary care is uniquely positioned in the healthcare system to explore root causes of poor health, deliver a proactive approach to patient care and create a longitudinal care plan to wellness."

How has COMET supported your health education journey or influenced your professional practice?

"The COMET experience has been invaluable to my health education and continues to influence my professional practice today. Hands down, COMET prepared me for the rigorous curriculum and clinical rotations in PA school, and taught me pearls that I still reference in my current clinical practice. I’m extremely grateful for the support, guidance and true examples of exceptional clinician mentors provided to me as a COMET fellow."

What advice can you give to a future COMET Fellow?

"Be a sponge and absorb as much information as you can! This is such a unique educational opportunity that will help you grow personally and professionally. Enjoy every second, stay curious and soak it all in!"

Posted on 10/29/21

COMET's October Social

Written by: Bradley Fong, 2021-22 Chief Scribe

This past Saturday, the COMET Fellowship took a trip over to Half Moon Bay to explore the amazing coastline and beach as well as walking through historic downtown Half Moon Bay. In downtown, they were able to pick out some yummy candy bags at the Small Town Sweets. The trip ended after getting delicious musubi, chicken bowl and hot coffee. Check out the pictures from this October social!

Posted in 10/28/21

Feel Good Friday - Alumni Spotlight

Written by: Jacob Less, 2021-22 Chief Medical Scribe Emeritus

Name: Cat Carragee

Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

Undergraduate University: Willamette University 

Medical Education: University College Dublin School of Medicine

Current Profession: PGY1 at UCSD Family Medicine 

COMET year: Class of 2016 (the inaugural COMET Cohort)

Favorite memory from your time as a fellow:  Jamming out at STFM with Dr. Lin, Dr. Teng, and Dr. Sattler at STFM. 

Why did you decide to join COMET? 

"While scribing in an ED, I was struck by how much of the work was taken up by primary care concerns: prescription refills for chronic conditions, suture removals, and referrals for specialist care due to poor access to primary care in the community. I joined COMET to see how primary care fit into the healthcare jigsaw puzzle. I stayed to watch it grow from Family Medicine to other primary care clinics and into specialties and because the people are AMAZING." 

How has COMET supported your health education journey or influenced your professional practice? 

"It led me to Family Medicine! I loved it then and I loved it now. The connections I built with COMET helped me access mentorship and participate in research projects during medical school. It also provided me with examples of excellent healthcare providers to guide my path to medical school."

How has COMET’s growth compared to your expectations of the program, as a member of the first COMET Class?

"Oh, this is a fun question. I came in expecting to have a shift job similar to when I was scribing in the ED. The program, even in its early stage, was much more than just a job. I built strong connections with the providers I worked with and participated in groundbreaking research. I also grew very attached to the people I worked with, to the point where it was difficult to say goodbye and not stay on to see where COMET would go!" 

What advice can you give to a future COMET Fellow?

"You can use this to springboard anywhere! There is a very steep learning curve, but you will overcome it. Once you reach the sweet spot you have such a unique opportunity to learn with amazing providers about medicine, healthcare access, research, academics, and life!"

Posted on 10/22/21

COMET's September Social

Written by: Elyse Gonzales, 2021-22 Chief Scribe

When Dr. Steven Lin created the COMET program, he envisioned creating a space for motivated pre-health students to explore their interests, gain clinical experience, and pursue research– but above all, he emphasized the importance of fellowship. To foster fellowship, the COMET program hosts monthly social events for fellows to bond and get to know one another outside of a clinical setting. 

This past weekend, our COMET scribes traveled to Baker Beach in San Francisco for their September social. After eating a delicious lunch catered by Miss Saigon, fellows played volleyball, took pictures, shared laughs–all while taking in a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Keep an eye out for news regarding our upcoming October social!  

Posted on 9/30/21

Welcome COMET Class of 2022!

It is our great pleasure to welcome the COMET class of 2022! 40 amazing fellows have joined our COMET team this year, and we are so excited to work with them! Please click here to learn more about our fellows. To view photos from the white coat ceremony, please click here.

Posted on 6/11/21

Chief Scribe Spotlight - Al Gourrier Jr.

Written by: Claire Godenzi, 2020-2021 Fellowship Coordinator

Name: Al Gourrier Jr. (AJ)

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

University: Kenyon College, Gambier, OH | San Francisco State University Pre-Health Professions Program 

Hobbies: "I love to play and watch sports, especially baseball, basketball and football. I also played Ultimate Frisbee in college, and I enjoy running/hiking on the weekends with friends."

COMET year: 2019-2020 COMET Fellow | 2020-2021 COMET Chief Scribe

A favorite memory from your time as a fellow: "My favorite memory from my time as a fellow would have to be the COMET camping trip in August 2019. We had about 18 people together for a two night/three day camping trip at Manresa State Park (see pictures in the gallery tab). We played games, relaxed on the beach, and cooked meals at the campfire. We had live music from some talented COMET fellows and bonded over yoga sessions held by fellows that were also yoga instructors. My favorite part of the camping trip was bonding with my peers outside of clinic. We had first year COMET fellows, Senior Scribes, and Chief Scribes attend the camping trip, so we learned and exchanged stories with seasoned COMET members while also having fun!"

Current title: Chief Scribe of Primary Care Clinics

Why did you decide to become a Chief?

"I had an amazing experience as a COMET fellow and I wanted to give back and make sure that others did too. My Chief Scribe, Claire Godenzi, inspired me and the rest of my cohort, and I strived to have that same influence on future cohorts. I also enjoyed helping my peers in clinic with their medical notes, and I saw the Chief position as a platform to help every new fellow, while also gaining leadership experience."

What is your favorite part(s) about your current role?

"My favorite part of the Chief Scribe position is advocating for the COMET fellows that I manage and watching them accomplish their goals that they set for themselves. As a Chief Scribe, we communicate with each individual COMET fellow and their respective providers. We work with both parties to maximize their collective efficiency, facilitate growth, and increase joy of practice. I enjoy helping fellows reach their full potential or simply resolve problems with my assistance as a mediator and mentor."

What have you learned about yourself and/or leadership since being a Chief?

"I have learned how to be more adaptable and resilient from my experiences as a Chief. My fellow Chiefs and I, with the support from our amazing Leadership Team, have led our cohorts through a new hybrid model of virtual scribing and in person scribing. We plan meetings, socials, and workshops in advance, with the uncertainty of plans changing due to the pandemic. I have gained unparalleled experiences as a leader due to these unforeseen circumstances, and I cannot thank COMET enough for giving me this opportunity."

What has been your favorite COMET event (so far) this fellowship year?

"My favorite COMET event this year would have to be our first in person social at Cuesta Park in October 2020. I had developed great relationships with my cohort already, even though we had only met virtually. We maintained social distancing and wore masks, and it was great meeting peers in person after working together via Zoom for 4+ months. The Chiefs individually ordered everyone Tender Greens and we all bonded, played games, and enjoyed the in person company."

What are your future plans?

"I’m currently completing my premed requirements as I work as a Chief Scribe. After completing my year as a Chief, I plan on finishing my courses and applying to medical school. I plan to continue working with COMET’s amazing faculty and staff as I prepare for medical school."

What advice can you give to a future chief scribe?

"My biggest advice to a future Chief Scribe is to learn from the other members of the Leadership Team and work as a group in order to all grow personally and professionally. Try not go through the motions and only work in your comfort zone, but rather get out of your comfort zone and work on the aspects of your leadership that you wish to grow. I advise that you discuss challenges that you will face with the other Chiefs, so that everyone will be better prepared to tackle any problems that arise. We work alongside amazing leaders, providers, and students, and we can always improve our own abilities if we’re open to working to better ourselves."

Posted on 3/16/21

Chief Scribe Spotlight - Marcia Mata

Written by: Claire Godenzi, 2020-2021 Fellowship Coordinator

Name: Marcia Mata

Hometown: San Rafael, CA

University: Wesleyan University, CT

Hobbies: Reading mystery/thrillers, hiking, and pretending I am a master chef

COMET year: Class of 2019-2020

A favorite memory from your time as a fellow: "Definitely the camping trip. It was the first time I got to really bond with other members of my class and it was a lot of fun getting to roast marshmallows, play What Do You Meme and spending some time with everyone on the beach. It was also funny to serve as a reminder to my peers to wear sunscreen: I will forever be remembered as the only scribe to get sunburned during the trip."

Current title: Chief Scribe of Satellite Clinics

Why did you decide to become a Chief?

"My time as a fellow was truly a gift. I made friends that I adore, found a community of supportive peers and colleagues and most importantly figured out what the right career choice was for me (woo woo NP!). I decided to take on the chief scribe role so that I could help other fellows do the same."

What is your favorite part(s) about your current role?

"My favorite part has to be interacting with the scribes. When I took on the position, I knew I would be able to mentor my scribes and be a source of encouragement for their endeavors, but it has been amazing to get to know them on a personal level and learn a couple new tricks from them."

What have you learned about yourself and/or leadership since being a Chief?

"I have learned to lean into the discomfort. I was always someone to shy away from conflict or problems, but serving as chief scribe this year has taught me that that the only way for me to grow as a leader is to lean in to these situations. In my role, I have had to tackle some uncomfortable situations, but in doing so I learned how to effectively diffuse and handle these situations, which has made me more confident in my ability to continue to serve as a leader in the future."

What has been your favorite COMET event (so far) this fellowship year?

"Although I absolutely loved our in person socials, I think my favorite event has to be our Valentine’s day social. The chiefs and I put a lot of effort into making themed games that would excite our scribes because we know that it is hard to get excited for a zoom social. When the time came, it was a relief that the games were so well received and I was so happy to see all the scribes getting really in to the activities. Seeing the scribes run around their homes in search for “something red” or “something heart shaped” definitely put a smile on my face."

What are your future plans?

"I was recently accepted to Vanderbilt’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program. I am still waiting to hear back from a few schools, but I am 95% sure I will be committing to Vanderbilt and starting classes this fall!"

What advice can you give to a future chief scribe?

"Don’t forget that you have the support of your co-chiefs!!! I would not have been able to be successful in my role this year without the support I had from AJ and Jacob. Your co-chiefs will be your partners in crime! Make friends with them, get to know each other’s schedules and make sure you guys can count on each other!"

Posted on 3/8/21

Scribe Spotlight - Randy Lin

Randy Lin

Santa Clara, CA

UCLA, 2016

Clinic(s): Infectious Diseases, Family Medicine

Written by: Marcia Mata, 2020-2021 Chief Scribe of Satellite Clinics

What drew you to COMET?

"While I was exploring ways to diversify my clinical experience, I stumbled upon the COMET Fellowship and simply could not pass up the opportunities to work on clinical research/quality improvement projects, to learn about different specialties, and to develop skills that contribute to an outpatient care team. This was the holistic package for personal and professional growth that I could not pass up. The challenges that the pandemic posed also played a role in my motivation to meaningfully commit my time to the health care system at Stanford."

Most memorable patient/provider interaction?

"I am beyond grateful to have built strong working relationships with two Infectious Disease providers over the course of this fellowship year as they took on challenges that COVID-19 presented in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. I had the privilege to see their dedication manifest through all their effort behind the scenes to advocate for the health and safety of their patients while also helping the underserved patient population navigate social and economic barriers to reach their healthcare goals. Even in the setting of these challenges, they went above and beyond to provide one-on-one mentorship for my professional development, such as brainstorming ideas for community outreach as well as providing me with the resources and confidence to lead a QI project. They became an essential part of my support system with the career advice I have received thus far. I was further driven to reciprocate the same enthusiasm in my scribing duties. This year revealed to me just how ‘infectious’ commitment and dedication for patients can be within a team, something that I will take with me beyond this fellowship."

How do you spend your time outside of COMET? Any hobbies, EC’s, classes etc?

"During my COMET year, I continued working on a research paper about novel aminoglycosides and ototoxicity. The pandemic has allowed me to reflect on my objectives with community outreach, and I look forward to purposefully rejoin volunteer efforts in the months ahead. In my spare time, I indulge in anything pertaining to basketball, car modifications, and the outdoors. Since these opportunities were limited within the past year, I spent time learning new recipes while also dabbling in entrepreneurship by assisting my sisters with their new business ventures."

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice on day 1 of the fellowship, what would it be?

"I would say to not hold back and simply ‘just do it’ without overthinking things, especially if you are completely new to scribing like I was! This pertains to any level of apprehension regarding the quality of your scribing ability, and especially during times when you may be feeling overwhelmed with medical abbreviations in chart review, having trouble correlating comorbidities, or feeling unable to synthesize the medical reasoning behind treatment plans. Simply let your ideas flow as you take on more responsibilities preparing the patient note, and ask questions as they come to mind! The entirety of mentors and fellows in the COMET program are available for any advice and guidance you may need, and so are the providers who were always willing to teach. Most importantly, know that the COMET fellowship is a family, and everyone is here to support one another!"

Posted on 2/26/21

Chief Scribe Spotlight - Jacob Less

Written by: Claire Godenzi, 2020-2021 Fellowship Coordinator

Hometown: Fairfield, CA - The Bay Area #707

University: University of California, Los Angeles Class of 2018 | San Francisco State University Pre-Health Professions Program

Hobbies: Playing soccer, Filipino cultural nights, the office trivia, proud wiener dog owner

COMET year: Class of 2019 - 2020 Fellowship | Endocrinology Specialty Clinic

Current title: Chief Scribe of Specialty Clinics

A favorite memory from your time as a fellow: "I think my favorite memory would have to be orientation day when I met my Comet fellowship class or our Comet graduation. During our orientation day, our fellowship class spent the whole day together and I think we started bonding immediately and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Our comet graduation was the first virtual graduation, but it was momentous to hear each fellow speak about something that impacted them during their year with the program."

Why did you decide to become a Chief?

"I wanted to become a chief scribe because I valued how much this program provided me, and the connections it allowed me to make. I wanted to give back to the program by supporting the next fellowship class and empowering my cohort to fulfill all that can be accomplished in the one year with COMET. I hoped to do half as good a job as my predecessor Jackie and add new elements that I thought might benefit this, and future, fellowship classes."

What is your favorite part(s) about your current role?

"I think my favorite part of my current role is the monthly 1-1s and our monthly meetings. The 1-1s give me a chance to talk to my cohort about their personal and professional goals, as well as what they are doing outside of COMET. I feel so close to my cohort of scribes and am so excited to see where they all end up in their future health care goals. The monthly meetings have been such an amazing space for fellows to showcase their knowledge, have collaborative discussion, and connect with one another. I am in awe every meeting when each member of my cohort does a presentation because I can see how hard they are working in their clinics and how much they have learned in such a short time."

What have you learned about yourself and/or leadership since being a Chief?

"I am so grateful for this experience to be on the COMET leadership team. This is one of the most amazing groups of individuals I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and they inspire me every day. I have learned that leadership takes on a wide variety of forms but by focusing on the task in front of you and being willing to adapt to the adversity of a situation, anything can be accomplished by a resilient team--even managing and coordinating a medical scribe fellowship remotely."

What has been your favorite COMET event (so far) this fellowship year?

"My favorite event was hands down the first in-person social. After not seeing my cohort or any of the members of the fellowship for more than 4 months, the first in-person social was so nice just to meet my cohort that I have been talking to only virtually every month. I enjoyed talking with my cohort in person, taking pictures, and playing games so that we could get to know each other better. It was so great, and I can only hope we get to hang out in person again!"

What are your future plans?

"After I finish my year as a chief scribe, I will be applying to medical school this upcoming cycle and hope to go onto medical school in 2022. My time with COMET, and working with my amazing providers and mentors, has affirmed and enhanced my dream to work in the healthcare field."

What advice can you give to a future chief scribe?

"My biggest advice is to connect with your cohort and really get across that your goal is to support them in whatever they are looking to get out of the program. I saw my role as a peer mentor was to share my experience, after completing one year in comet, and try to empower my cohort every day to maximize all that can be accomplished in one year at Stanford. Your goal at the end of your year as a chief scribe is to have your fellows not only look back on their experience and realize how much they grew, but genuinely feel proud of all they did! This program exists for a reason, you are on a leadership team for a reason, and you were chosen as a chief for a reason. Trust in all of those, including yourself, and you will do an amazing job!"

Posted on 2/19/21

Scribe Spotlight - Sai Priyanka Kodam

Sai Priyanka Kodam

San Jose, CA

Deccan College of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India

Clinic(s): Stanford Internal Medicine

Written by: Marcia Mata, 2020-2021 Chief Scribe of Satellite Clinics

What drew you to COMET?

"I am a foreign medical graduate applying for residency. I was looking for opportunities to gain clinical experience and research experience, which are critical for the application. That’s when I discovered COMET, and this program offered everything I was looking for. Through this program, I would be part of the team providing the most advanced medical care to the patients. Also, I would be working on an original research project. I went ahead and applied, and the program has been unique so far."

Most memorable patient/provider interaction?

"I work with Dr. Kathleen Kenny, Dr. Anuradha Phadke, and Dr. Valerie Teng.
All the providers take the time to talk to patients regarding their concerns. A lot of times, this helped to understand their lifestyle, which translated to patient-specific management plans. For example, minor changes in the lifestyle - like ‘intermittent fasting with portion control in a prediabetic’ worked for better blood glucose control.
Another educational aspect has been the decision-making process - The physician and the patient work together as a team to decide the right course of management and discuss various resources to assist the patients in achieving their healthcare goals."

How do you spend your time outside of COMET? Any hobbies, EC’s, classes etc?

"Apart from scribing, I am working on a research project on remote monitoring of blood pressures with Dr. Phadke. I am a visiting researcher in the Stanford biomedical innovations department, currently writing a research paper about nano-based drug delivery for cancer therapy. In my free time, I create oil and acrylic canvas paintings inspired by nature. I also enjoy going on road trips exploring scenic byways with my family."

Posted on 2/3/21

Scribe Spotlight - Elly Hickey

Elly Hickey

Greenville, SC

Clemson University, 2020

Clinic(s): Stanford Express Care

Written by: Marcia Mata, 2020-2021 Chief Scribe of Satellite Clinics

What drew you to COMET?

"I discovered COMET when I was exploring opportunities to further my medical education during my gap year before PA school. This program stood out to me because of the real-time education I would receive from the providers in conjunction with patient encounters. Coming from a small, southern town, I also wanted to gain experience working with a diverse patient population, which is characteristic of the Bay Area." 

Most memorable patient/provider interaction?

"I have had the privilege of working with various providers in the Stanford CROWN Clinic. Working in the setting of this outpatient COVID-19 clinic has been extremely eye-opening. Not only do the providers check on the physical well-being of the patients with this novel disease but they also address any social or economic barriers to the patient's full recovery. I have learned that this key aspect of medicine can commonly be overlooked and it has been impactful to see the resources we can connect patients and their caregivers with, within the Stanford Medicine system."

How do you spend your time outside of COMET? Any hobbies, EC's, classes etc.?

"Outside of COMET, I work as a medical assistant and media coordinator for a rhinoplasty specialist here in the Bay Area. I am also currently working with two different COVID-19 studies through Stanford. In my free time, I have been ~socially distant~ly exploring the Bay Area. I love being outdoors and I especially love the ocean; I have seen some picturesque places since I have been out here!"

Posted on 12/12/20