Policy

Rachel Lockard Rachel Lockard (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Oregon Health & Science University


Rachel is a second-year medical student at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. In 2019, she graduated from OHSU-PSU School of Public Health with a masters in public health. She is the current Board Chair of the student-run Bridges Collaborative Care Clinic and hopes to practice medicine somewhere at the intersection of housing, mental health, and addiction care.




To Stay Home You Need To Have One: Housing As Primary Prevention

Moreover, homelessness and COVID-19  both disproportionately burden marginalized populations — in particular, Black communities and Native Americans. When COVID-19 began spreading through the community, it came as no surprise that it would disproportionately impact those living in congregate homeless shelters. Overcrowded shelters, the inability to physically distance, and poor access to handwashing and hygiene facilities are coalescing for an unsafe environment that could accelerate disease transmission.

We Have a Cost Crisis in Medicine. What Can Medical Students Do To Help?

There is a cost crisis in medicine: the health care industry accounts for about 18 percent of the GDP in the United States, and predictive models see this increasing in the coming years. This is a problem for the country as a whole as an estimated 41 percent of working Americans have some level of medical debt. 

Shut Up and Doctor?

Now, I am a fourth-year medical student standing at the foot of a tall ladder. The hierarchy of medicine requires that I follow some unwritten rules in order to climb. Throughout my training, I have gotten the sense that one of those rules is: avoid trouble, good or bad. Of course, now, doctors are beginning to find their voices through movements like White Coats for Black Lives. But as a young trainee, I sometimes feel the sentiment directed at James in 2018: shut up and doctor.

Hospital Chargemasters: The Way Forward for Price Transparency?

President Trump signed an executive order this past June that directs the Health and Human Services Department to develop a rule requiring hospitals to disclose online the prices that insurers and patients pay for common items and services. The rule also requires hospitals to reveal the amounts they are willing to accept in cash for an item or service. However, hospitals not complying only face a civil penalty of $300 a day, giving them latitude to effectively ignore the executive order.

Academic Medical Centers and Their Neighbors: What Medical Students Should Know

As many urban academic medical centers have become the world’s leaders in research and patient care, their bordering neighborhoods have suffered through decades of disinvestment and economic blight. Medical students often receive their first years of training in hospitals that serve these disadvantaged populations. While the current focus on social determinants of health represents a rising cornerstone of medical education, what else do medical students need to know about inner city poverty?

How a Pandemic Has Shifted the Conversation Around Harm Reduction

For a variety of reasons, the substance use population is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data from previous financial crises, the emotional toll will increase rates of new substance use, escalate current use, and trigger relapse even among those with long-term abstinence. There may be a significant lag before these changes are detected and treated because health care resources are being funneled toward the pandemic.

Medical Students Must Know Invisible City Lines

As I grew up, I felt these lines and had a vague idea of where they lay. I knew where in Louisville I felt “safe,” and I also knew where the “bad parts of town” were located. The lines and their forced labels serve to enhance the lives of some people, myself included, while limiting others. Two cities exist within one border separated by an undeniable feature — skin color.

Up The Cross: The Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

In collaboration with the Australian-American Fulbright Program, I spent 2019-2020 examining the treatment of substance use disorders in Australia through the lens of animation. As part of this project, I created a pair of educational animations focusing on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Sydney’s Kings Cross. This series, entitled Up the Cross: The Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, examines the founding, protocols and benefits of the MSIC, which was established in 2001.

The Story of the American Medical Association’s New Policy on Children with Incarcerated Parents

The United States is the most heavily incarcerated country in the developed world, and with that comes many secondary consequences, including children growing up with incarcerated parents. Although efforts have been made to mitigate the harm associated with having an incarcerated parent, few are focused on meeting the direct health needs of these children through preventative health care.

Aida Haddad, MDiv Aida Haddad, MDiv (3 Posts)

Medical Student Editor

Indiana University School of Medicine


Aida is a third-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, Aida earned her Bachelor of Science in environmental science from Indiana University Bloomington and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. In June 2018, she walked from Louisville, Kentucky to St. Louis, Missouri to witness to the forced migration of climate change refugees and to advocate for her church's divestment from fossil fuels. Aida feels called to work at the intersection of medicine, anti-racism, & environmental justice.