Tag: health disparities

Krishna Constantino Krishna Constantino (2 Posts)


University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Currently an M2 at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Interests include global health, health disparities, and emergency medicine. Also enjoys photography, classical music, travel, and medical history. Will work for dessert.


A Drop of Water On a Parched Wasteland

I was on a plane heading towards Santiago, the capital of the Dominican Republic. From there, I would take a two-hour bus ride to Mao Vallerde, where we would be working at for most of the week. I was going on a global health trip through Jose’s Hands, an organization that sponsors medical students interested in going on mission trips. For this particular trip, they had partnered with One to the Other Ministries, a Tulsa-based ministry that has been doing mission trips, both medical and non-medical, since 1986. This being my first global health trip, I had no idea what to expect other than the usual warnings of tropical diseases endemic to the area.


What Can I Do About LGBT Health Disparities?

The interpersonal ease needed to establish trust between patient and provider might come easily to some, but is only the first barrier. As physicians and physicians-in-training, we ask patients to disclose uncomfortably thorough social and sexual histories which often go beyond the limits of our own experiences. Then we critique them, offering suggestions for risk reduction based on our medical expertise. In order to do this effectively, we are asked to know a lot about communities to which many of us are not members.

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I Am a Brand New Intern, and This Is How I Show Solidarity with Black Lives Matter, by Katharine Lawrence, MD

Last week marked my first week as a doctor. Like thousands of my colleagues, I began intern year with a combination of enthusiasm and dread. On my first day of clinic, I woke well before dawn, full of nervous energy. I collected my precious intern paraphernalia — my stethoscope, my Pocket Medicine guide, and my crisp long white coat. I filled the pockets of my new uniform, smoothed the hems, and, as a finishing touch, began applying the pins I wore throughout medical school to the collar.

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The Case for Teaching Lifestyle Counseling in Medical Schools

The epidemics of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia roll through the US and across much of the world, eerily reminiscent to the sweeping cholera outbreaks of Snow’s era. Even in the majority of low- and middle-income countries, these chronic illnesses have already displaced infectious diseases to become the leading causes of death and disability. Yet, the majority of these are potentially preventable.

This photo was originally taken by and displayed on Otto Yamamoto's Flickr account. It has not been altered in any way

Why Black Lives Matter Ought to Matter to Medical Students: A Familiar Message Revisited

In December of 2014, one week after the non-indictment of Michael Brown, in-Training published an article entitled “A Lack of Care: Why Medical Students Should Focus on Ferguson.” In it, Jennifer Tsai argued that the systemic racism rampant in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems also permeates our health care system, affecting both access to care for black patients and the quality of care black patients receive. Lamenting that the medical community was largely absent from the Ferguson controversy, she cited startling statistics of disparities in health and health care as part of her call to action. In light of the events last week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, it’s time to revisit this message.

Learning to be an Advocate, One Day at a Time

Among my professor’s stories from Lima, the chicken dinner story haunts me most. It features two students from his time as a middle school teacher in one of Lima’s most dangerous outskirt neighborhoods. A young teacher working at a Fe y Alegria school in North Lima, my professor, Kyle, had promised to take them anywhere they desired for dinner in exchange for exam success. The students requested chicken, standard Peruvian celebratory fare.

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The Challenges in Uncovering and Addressing Health Disparities Among Asian-Americans

Though they make up 5.6 percent of the US population, discussions about Asian-American health appear to be few and far between. According to the Asian-American Health Initiative, a variety of medical and public health scourges disproportionately affect the Asian-American community. Some of these disparities entail disease incidence, while others describe a paucity of certain preventive health measures being delivered to this group.

Are Women Really Bad Negotiators? Social Darwinism and the Gender Wage Gap in Medicine

In 2015, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research published an alarming statistic: on average, women made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. Even more alarming was the fact that when the study controlled for qualification or stratified by job title, the gender wage gap persisted. Unfortunately, medicine is not immune to the gender wage gap phenomenon. According to data from the US Census Bureau, women make up one-third of US physicians, but on average make only 69 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. This results in over $56,000 in potential wages lost for women in medicine each year.

The 17: What Happens When Abortion is Criminalized Without Exception?

In El Salvador, 17 women imprisoned after experiencing miscarriages or stillbirths began a campaign against reproductive injustice. “The 17” were sentenced for up to 40 years in prison for miscarriages or complications during delivery, after being convicted of attempted or aggravated homicide. This was the outcome of a total ban on abortion: young, often unmarried, women of lower socioeconomic status are suspected of inducing illegal abortion when experiencing emergent obstetric complications. Stigma and misogyny play into the result, in which a woman’s health during pregnancy is viewed with distrust.


Training for Activism, Action and the Future of Medicine

During our many years of medical training, we study complex physiological processes running the gamut from acute sepsis to the equally devastating progression of chronic diseases. We spend countless hours in lectures and on the wards, attempting to gain exposure to proper medical management of bread-and-butter medical problems as well as more obscure diseases which may only affect a handful of patients annually. However, most medical schools neglect to teach one crucial area of expertise — training in advocacy skills to address social determinants of health.

Melissa Palma Melissa Palma (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Melissa Palma is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Iowa who recently matched to the Greater Lawrence Family Medicine Residency. When not in the hospital, you can find her studying or reading non-fiction while nursing a taro boba tea.

The Aesculapian Advocate

A column reflecting on the privileges and responsibilities we have as physicians-in-training to advocate for those who do not have the power to do so themselves. Devoted to issues of social justice and health equity, this column hopes to spark conversations and inspire action within each reader's community at large.