Throughout my training, I’ve observed the shortcomings and strengths of the healthcare system from the perspective of the next generation of physicians. Lack of emphasis on preventative care put Americans at risk even before COVID-19 hit our shores.
On March 17, 2020, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) jointly issued a statement supporting “medical schools in placing, at minimum, a two-week suspension on their medical students’ participation in any activities that involve patient contact.” The joint recommendation leaves thousands of third year medical students, who will soon enter into their final year of school, contemplating their role in the face of this evolving pandemic.
From a public health perspective, we in Oregon have nowhere near the number of cases as our northern neighbors in Washington, although with delayed testing it is hard to tell exactly how many people are infected. But as we continue to follow the pattern of disease spread that has been demonstrated in Wuhan and Italy, we can presume that things will only escalate from here. And with it, inequities will be laid bare.
In recent days, some medical schools have begun canceling rotations in the face of a growing pandemic. The halls of my own school have been abuzz with conversations of deans and students alike about how a medical school must operate during an outbreak.
It’s a common scenario: a male medical student and a female resident walk into a patient’s room together, and the patient automatically assumes that the man is the doctor, and the woman is the nurse.
Although I’ve spent only a mere two and a half years as a student in this world of medical education, it’s readily apparent that I fit into very few of the “typical medical student” patterns. I’m part of a small cohort of dual degree students. I’m nontraditional, having never considered becoming a physician until after I graduated from college in 2013. And I am a disabled woman.
Hybrid species, known collectively as chimeras from the eponymous ancient Greek myth of a lion-goat hybrid, arose from the wellspring of human imagination and creativity. With modern advancements in biotechnology, however, chimeras of a sort are less a myth and more of a reality.
Just as our vernacular has embraced the language of food to describe people, so too has the medical community used such language to describe disease.
I was sitting in on a patient visit with the attending physician and a senior medical student, and I could tell that both of them were trying to guide him back on track as gently as possible.
A recent publication in the Journal of Neurology caused significant outrage not only within a forum dedicated to Black doctors and trainees, but also in the medical community online at large. Much like the rest of the readers, I was deeply troubled and did not understand the purpose of the article.
She put down her drink, the corners of her mouth dropped slightly. “Oh, so a Caribbean medical school. What happened? You couldn’t get into a U.S. school?”
When contemplating a career in medicine as either a nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA) or physician, I entered unwittingly into a landmine of opinions tainted with undertones of interprofessional resentment.