Policy

Priya Rajan (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of California, Riverside School of Medicine


Priya Rajan is a third year medical student at the UCR School of Medicine in Riverside, CA. In 2013, she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, concentrating in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Before deciding to go into medicine, Priya worked in many different industries including advertising and management consulting. She is also a registered yoga teacher. In her free time, Priya enjoys reading, playing tennis, taking Peloton classes, practicing yoga, and watching Schitt's Creek. Her medical interests include Street Medicine and Critical Care.




Should Kidneys be Commodities? A Brief Look into Government-Regulated Organ Trading

The Iranian Consultative Assembly, the equivalent of a parliament, legalized living non-related donations in 1988 and set up a new government-run transplant matching system. Within this novel framework, living donors could choose to have their organs typed and registered in advance. If they are needed, a third-party independent organization, the Dialysis and Transplant Patients Association (DTPA), would set up contact between the donors and recipients. The donors would be compensated by a payment from the government, free health insurance, and sometimes additional payment from the recipient. The payment from the government is said to be in the range of $2,000-$4,000.

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.

Meghan Sharma (3 Posts)

Columnist

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


Meghan is a second year medical student in the MD-MPH program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida class of 2023. In December of 2018, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in biological anthropology. She has written for The Denver Post (Denver, Colorado), has been a writer and editor for Washington University Student Life (St. Louis, Missouri), and has been published on KevinMD.com. She enjoys skiing, snowboarding, baking, dancing, and playing piano in her free time. In the future, Meghan would like to incorporate medical journalism into her career as a physician.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Healthiness

As doctors-in-training, we are not often exposed to the fundamental legal tenants of healthcare and medicine. But law and policy play a significant role in how we will practice -- including but not limited to the role of legal documents such as the Constitution on health policy, the impact of Supreme Court cases on healthcare legislation, and the role of international organizations and governmental decisions in global health. By discussing topics in medical law, public health policy, and the government's role in healthcare, we can better understand the intersection between the duties of physicians on the clinical level and the involvement of medicine on a national level.