Opinions

Haleigh Prather Haleigh Prather (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Oregon Health & Science University


Haleigh is a third year medical student at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon class of 2023. In 2017, she graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and in 2019 she graduated from the Johns Hopkins: Bloomberg school of public health with a Masters of Health Science in biochemistry and molecular biology. She enjoys baking, painting, jigsaw puzzling and playing with her kitten in her free time. After graduating medical school, Haleigh would like to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology or pediatric surgery.




Health, Identity and History: Vaccine Hesitancy among Minority Groups in the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and the arrival of the summer season, people are feeling happier and beginning to come out of their homes. It’s clear that there is a growing sense of hope that the pandemic may be approaching its conclusion. However, standing in the way of our pursuit of normalcy is the refusal among some to partake in the vaccine, despite its proven efficacy and safety by experts.

Exquisitely Tender

A 5-year-old African American boy presents to the emergency department with left leg pain. His leg is exquisitely tender to palpation…. If I read this vignette in the first year of medical school, I would have navigated to the multiple-choice answers to select anything related to sickle cell disease. The question writers are stating that the patient is Black, young and has a painful limb — this is not a difficult diagnosis. Rather than envisioning …

Essential Workers & Escapism

For better or worse, I have always partaken in escapism in one form or another. “Escapism,” defined as the practice of avoiding a difficult reality by immersing oneself in distraction or entertainment, is a concept that rose in popularity in the 1930s as a natural reaction to the Great Depression of the previous decade. Although I did not know it at the time, I have been practicing escapism since 2000 BC (before COVID). As the eldest daughter of immigrants who were new to the continent and busy building a life from scratch, I would get lost in stories from a very young age. I had little in the way of friends and even less of an interest in being popular, so naturally I was drawn to books to fill that emotional void; novels were the way to my heart — fantasy and fiction, oh my!

The Fallacy of Shared Decision-Making

I took a quick trip to Target a month ago and browsed for new jeans. I approached the clothing section and was suddenly struck by the overwhelming challenge I had undertaken. From rack to rack, I had to choose from a multitude of different brands (Levis, Wrangler, True Religion and more), different styles (skinny, bootcut, tapered and more) and different colors (blue, black, tan and more). I had to figure out my current exact size and, even then, there are many different ways to size jeans (small-medium-large, waist-by-length and others).

In Sickness and Health: Concern for Presenteeism in Medical Trainees

Presenteeism does not simply exist for seasoned providers; it seeps down the medical training pipeline and perhaps poses the greatest threat to trainees at the start of their careers. The fear of missing out as the “beginner on the team” can be paralyzing when there is so much important knowledge beyond us. Such pressure persists longitudinally, too, as trainees at every level fear that taking time off will appear as a lack of dedication to clinical education or will result in lower performance evaluations.

The COVID Narrative

Our illness narrative, the COVID narrative, is about so much more than regaining health (though I acknowledge that for those afflicted by the disease, overcoming the debilitating circumstances may be more than can even be hoped for). Returning to Frank’s ideas, our narrative is about rediscovering the voice that was stolen by forces beyond our control.

Beyond the Bottle

“We are taking him to rehab,” she said. I could hear a faint sigh of relief and happiness permeating her voice, which had been distinctly absent for the last few months. I could also hear wind whooshing in the background and a distant trail of her voice, which meant they were already on the road.

Taking a Wider View: A Medical Student’s Perspective on Reforming Obesity Medicine Training

As physicians, we must work to lift patients up when they are struggling, rather than shaming them into well-being. As Dr. Donald Berwick once noted, it is not always patients’ diagnoses, but their helplessness that kills them. Indeed, the helplessness we instill through our focus on individualism and molecular pathology in the clinical setting will ensure that this epidemic kills millions prematurely and costs billions of dollars. If obesity is a disease caused by society — its inequities, trauma, and expectations — then the solution for obesity should address more than just the patient sitting in front of us.

Shradha Chhabria Shradha Chhabria (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, Pennsylvania


Shradha is a third year medical student at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, Pennsylvania class of 2022. In 2016, she graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in international health, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health in global health and population with a concentration in obesity epidemiology and prevention before she returns to medical school for her M4 year. She enjoys yoga, meditation and cooking in her free time. After graduating medical school, Shradha would like to pursue a career in Obesity Medicine.