As medical students, we recognize that bias in medicine is doubly damaging: it burdens our peers and it harms our patients. In the opening narratives we see both of these at play: in Micaela’s self-doubt and frustration, and in the intern’s judgment of their older, Latina patient. Such clinician bias has been increasingly shown to contribute to widespread health inequities.
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.
“You need to come in to the E.D. ASAP.” A new patient was admitted at 2 a.m. and requested for a crisis counselor. Back in 2009 when I was volunteering in New York City, unlike with cases of sexual assault, survivors of domestic violence had to specifically request for the presence of an advocate. This woman, I’ll call her Sadie, had already taken the first courageous step to seek help.
As a native New Yorker, I was thrilled when last month Governor Cuomo announced plans for an executive order that prohibits discrimination against transgender people. This executive order would apply to issues such as employment and housing, expand existing anti-discrimination protections to include gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria.