Over the past year, I’ve had a great experience getting involved with Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), a national and on-campus advocacy group. The organization’s long-term goal is to reform health care financing in favor of a single, public insurance offering for all Americans (the “single-payer” movement). Its short-term goal is to increase grassroots support among physicians and health professional students in conjunction with Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).
One thing I’ve learned in this experience is that a tight social bond around an issue can provide much of the ongoing impetus to keep pushing the work forward. As a group, we keep each other on task; more than that, I actually look forward to our meetings. Without this group of friends I would lose the reassurance that I have peers who are interested in the same broader questions as I am. As one friend said tonight, “I don’t want to be forcing single-payer down people’s throats; I want to be having intellectual discussions with my classmates.”
Comparing this project to so many other ideas that I’ve had, started to work on and then didn’t prioritize, it’s not the passion that I lacked, it was the social support.
Tonight we had a big potluck dinner and discussion. The food was great, the conversation even better—I even had one of those “out of med school moments.”
Potato Latkes: You can use any online simple recipe, with a couple of easy tips. After grating the potato and onion together, fold them into a large kitchen cloth and wring out as much water as possible. Then toss with other ingredients (you can use flour instead of matzoh meal). Fry at high heat and don’t be afraid of oil!
Homemade Applesauce: Wash and core apples. In a large pot with a lid, add the apples, about half a cup of water, and cinnamon to taste (or one cinnamon stick, if you have them). Leaving the lid on, cook over medium-low heat for about half an hour, until the apples are completely soft and falling off the skins. Stir occasionally and add more water as needed to prevent apples from sticking. At the end, use an immersion or regular blender to puree the skins.
The Med School Cookbook offers a weekly account of the challenges and wonders of med school as seen through the eyes of a student. Each post includes a healthy and easy recipe designed for busy people on a budget. Read the daily blog here.