Tag: health policy

Ria Pal Ria Pal (5 Posts)

Medical Student Editor

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry


Ria is a Class of 2018 medical student. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in neuroscience. Her interests include human behavior, social justice work, art, public health, and mnemonics.




Pursuing Medicine: Reflection of a Senior Medical Student

As a fourth-year medical student, I enjoy introducing myself to patients as the “extra eyes and ears of the team, so feel free to tell me anything you forgot or would like to address, even if you think it’s irrelevant or burdensome. I will be your advocate.” As I establish rapport with them, the walls come down, and they often provide important information that helps my team provide the best care for them.

It’s Time We Talk About Police Safety With Our Patients

“Here is what I would like you to know,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son in his New York Times bestselling book Between the World and Me. “In America, it is tradition to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” Drawing on recent events, Coates shines a bright light on the very tangible obstacles African-Americans face in our country. Unfortunately, this is a reality that has largely been swept under the rug by the rest of America, including its health care providers.It is time that healthcare providers, and in particular primary care providers, confront this reality.

Inside Every Presidential Candidate is a Medical Student — Even Dr. Ben Carson

Ten male students crowded around a clean-shaven instructor who asked a series of questions. The students had meticulously prepared and would maintain close proximity to well-rehearsed answers. Hopefully the questions are simple, they thought. One by one, they answered, at times stumbling through their responses. This was expected. The students were learning and the incorrect answers allowed room for humility. Such a scene could easily describe an American teaching hospital, or, a Republican presidential debate.

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.

Occupational Physicians as Goaltenders

I recently had the opportunity to shadow a local occupational medicine physician over spring break. I arrived at his office Monday morning expecting a brief day of clinic, maybe some conversation over lunch; maybe I get lucky and he pays for my sandwich. Within minutes of meeting him, though, the physician offered to host me for the entire week on a “mini-rotation.”

Permission to Speak: Fighting for Health Care as a Human Right

Almost every morning, one of our physiology lecturers asks a question. Usually, it’s a question to which most of my 200 classmates would know the answer. Every day, the professor asks their question, often losing their rhythm in the twenty seconds it takes to shake an answer out of us. The silence lingers until finally they get a response, often whispered like an embarrassing secret by someone sitting near the front. The timid self-consciousness on display in this small ritual is a major part of the socialization that happens in medical school.

Laws that Shackle Doctors: How Can We Prevent Another Planned Parenthood Shooting?

On November 27, 2015, a horrific shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs left three people dead. This tragedy is a stark reminder of the grave consequences that may accompany inflammatory political rhetoric and poor legislation. After his arrest, Gunman Robert Dear declared “no more baby parts” to investigators. Dear’s terrifying actions have been linked to the national ongoing attack on reproductive rights as well as inadequate gun control laws. As a medical student, I fear that we will have many more Robert Dear’s in this country unless we make sure that political interests do not continue to impede on patient-provider relationships.

LGBT Health: The Next Frontier?

Just last month, the Supreme Court issued a ruling declaring bans on same-sex marriage illegal. While many hail this as a major step in the quest for equality, equity in health outcomes is still lacking in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Many clinicians and prospective clinicians do not receive significant training in how to address the unique needs of members of the LGBT population.

Jennifer Hong Jennifer Hong (5 Posts)

2016 Writers-in-Training Program Director

Emory School of Medicine


Hi, I'm a second year medical student at Emory University. I graduated in May 2014 from Duke University with majors in Neuroscience and English. I like fiction, penguins, discussions about race relations and feminist theory, makeup tutorials, and bubble tea. I may not be able to give you lots of medical advice, but if you need a couple cat videos to brighten up your day, you've come to the right person.