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A Few Words from Pulse’s New New Voices Editor

Dear Pulse readers,

I remember when my late mentor Deb Taylor (now a guardian angel) introduced me to Pulse during my family medicine residency. She led a reflective exercise on “Something that surprised you.” I wrote about a fetal demise case where, for the first time, I saw an attending physician showing vulnerability.

Soon after that, Deb called me into her office, showed me the Pulse website and explained that Pulse was an online magazine where people shared their personal stories about health care. She encouraged me to develop my reflective piece and submit it for possible publication.

I was hesitant at first. Even though I enjoyed writing, up to that point I had only ever written for my own eyes. I had never shared my personal writing on such a platform before. I was scared of rejection and of being judged by people I didn’t know.

I heeded Deb’s advice, however, and with the help of Pulse editors, my seemingly insignificant reflective story became A Good Cry, published in June 2018.

Over the years I have submitted a few more of my stories to Pulse. Each time, I still feel some anxiety about how my story will be received. I usually push through those feelings, and without fail I come out on the other side encouraged and thankful for this space.

My name is Colette Stanley. I am a family physician currently transitioning into hospice and palliative medicine. I am an immigrant, originally from a small Caribbean island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and have made a home in Maine with my husband.

To call myself a “writer” feels too heavy, but it is something I enjoy doing. I also love the outdoors; sign me up any day to relax by any body of water with a good book. I am also a humanitarian at heart, with a love for global health.

I’m passionate about narrative medicine and am very honored to take on this new role as editor of Pulse’s New Voices feature.

I believe that we all need a space in this world–a space where we feel welcome, heard, understood and loved. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us nothing else, it taught us the value of community, including a virtual one.

Pulse has intentionally created a community where people can relate to each other through their stories, poems and artwork. New Voices builds on that by carving out a special place for people who might otherwise feel “othered” in medicine–who might feel that their voices are not being heard.

I know that feeling personally. If you have ever felt that way, New Voices was created for you. As its incoming editor, I am excited to welcome you to this space and to work with you to share your story, to find your community.

I don’t think I ever thanked Deb for introducing me to Pulse, but in my new role I will honor her memory. I understand if you feel apprehensive about sharing your story. I’ve been there. I encourage you to face those fears.

As Brené Brown, a researcher and storyteller herself, has said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.”

Have a look at our New Voices page. And if you’d like to submit a story, please use this New Voices Submission Form.

I look forward to connecting with you.


Colette Stanley
Pulse New Voices Editor


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