Reading Assignments for the Class of 2023

The Class of 2023 will read When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. Listed below are questions for your reflection. Please answer each question and submit that essay by June 24. You will be able to upload your document directly to eMedley by doing the following:

  1.  Login to eMedley ( using Google Chrome. If you do not have access, contact Dr. Machelle Linsenmeyer at
  2. Go to educate (click on the three stacked boxes on theleft and select educate from the list of tools).

  3. You should see the “Reading Assignment for When Breath Becomes Air” listed in your feed. If you do not see it, youcan search for “When Breath Becomes Air” in the searchbar and it should pull to the top of the list.

  4. Click on View Homework located in the box for the “Reading Assignment for When Breath Becomes Air”.

  5. Attach your completed reflection question underDocuments at the bottom of the page.

  6. Click Update to submit.

Please note: This is the first assignment in the portfolio that will be tracking your work during your four years at WVSOM.

Questions for the Assignment

Drawing upon the lessons from Dr. Kalanithi’s story, please complete an essay response, 2-3 pages in length, double-spaced, that addresses the following three questions:

  1. If you had not chosen the path of physician, what would you have chosen and why?

  2. Have you witnessed a patient death? If so, how did it impact your thoughts of mortality? If not, what are your expectations of witnessing a patient death? Do you see death as the enemy?

  3. What do you wish to leave behind in legacy?