I awoke to a phone ringing frantically, must have been a Whatsapp call. My father yelling from downstairs, “He passed.” And my mother, opening my bedroom door before my eyes had fully opened, stood there with her cellphone out, lips quivering, and eyes searching, “He’s gone.” My grandfather had passed away.
Physicians across many specialties are treating trafficked persons in their practice. Yet they are not trained to recognize human trafficking or know how to intervene. Studies have shown that 88 percent of US-born sex trafficking victims reported receiving medical care while being trafficked.
With the increased awareness surrounding mental health that has come over the course of the 21st century, many more people are aware of PTSD. Our understanding of it has come a long way from the earliest accounts of “soldier’s heart” during the Civil War era, or even what was termed “shell shock” during World War 1. However, there are still some common misconceptions surrounding PTSD, which I hope to debunk here.
At this point, most medical students either know someone obsessed with podcasts, or are obsessed with the medium themselves. With shows on everything from broader pop culture to reading novels as spiritual texts, the podcasting boom allows anyone — including medical students — to engage their most niche interests on their own schedule. Given, however, the diversity and sheer volume of podcasts out there, it is be easy to become overwhelmed or miss a quality show or episode. Below are eight episodes, ranging from traditional interviews to creative nonfiction, that even the busiest medical student should take a break to listen to.
On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, giving control of the White House, the House and the Senate to the Republican Party. Congress is expected to move quickly on President Trump’s agenda: one of the top priorities is the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
On a late March day in 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. For many Americans, it was a day of celebration as they would finally be able to get the healthcare they needed at a price they could afford. For others it was a day of frustration and confusion, because even from the beginning it was apparent that this plan was not perfect. Over the past six years we have watched the success and failures of the bill as it was slowly put into action. In that time more than 20 million people have gained health insurance.
Whenever I go to the hospital, I wear my grandpa’s socks. They looked distinguished on an older man, but a little childish on a me, a 25-year-old medical student. I’m okay with that. Feeling like an overdressed kid on Easter helps to balance the overwhelming pressure of becoming a physician.
Following the event, we resolved to dedicate our efforts to raising awareness at Einstein about domestic sex trafficking. We knew our colleagues might be just as uninformed as we had been. Later that year, we developed research on how to best teach sex-trafficking issues to medical school students.
When I was six, a set of strawberry hair ties foiled my endeavor for independence. My mother had a way of twisting the plastic ornaments at the end of her operation so they sat together like two friends on a bus, neat and obedient at the crown of my head. Despite my assertions, (“I can do it myself!”) I could never align their orbits.
When many people hear about human trafficking and health care, they usually think about sexual health: sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and so forth. However, the health problems of trafficking survivors are much more vast and complex. It is also important to note that not all trafficking survivors are trafficked for sex.
It was a tangent during conversation, but I felt my jaw tighten as soon as I heard it. Proposed changes, increase in work hours, for the good of the patients and of the doctors too. It was a Friday evening as I was working on a project with colleagues. As we scuttled toward a new topic, my thoughts were heavy and my hands, anxious. A friend brought up the proposed revisions concerning medical interns’ work hours the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is pushing to a vote in February. ACGME is looking to raise the number of hours that can be worked consecutively by medical interns from 16 to 24 hours, plus an extra four for patient handoffs.
Theater, however, has given me more than just fun memories from my childhood. Its life lessons are ones that I have held onto my whole life and have directly impacted my path towards medicine. In fact, I believe that everyone, especially future physicians, should participate in theater not only because it can be a very rewarding extra curricular, but also because it can give you specific skills, such as the ones outlined below, to use later in your practice.