Azraa Chaudhury (1 Posts)
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Azraa is a third year medical student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. In 2018, she graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Prior to medical school, she was a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group, where she worked on projects in medical devices, value-based health care, and artificial intelligence use in drug discovery. She enjoys traveling, running, and hiking in her free time. In the future, Azraa would like to pursue a career in surgery.
One crisp Sunday morning in October, I arrive at the community free clinic to find four student volunteers — two of whom are in their third month of medical school like I am — and one attending physician. As usual, we are overbooked.
In my white coat, / I ask for forgiveness. / Forgive me, / to the weary homeless man
During one of my first patient encounters at the clinic, I remember a young and seemingly indifferent patient come in with earbuds plugged in her ears. Her hands tightly grasped the arms of the exam chair as she anxiously awaited the arrival of the clinic optometrist.
I have learned that patients seek health care services at free clinics for a myriad of reasons and some are atypical. There were specific populations I expected to see: the uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, and those without access to transportation. Yet there were other populations I was more surprised to see, namely patients who had insurance but preferred their experiences at free clinics.
Mrs. H’s story is just one of millions of Americans who have become victims of structural violence and suffered from the social determinants of health. With a clearer understanding of the complex factors that contribute to patients’ health outcomes, I now aim to reunite the erroneously separated domains of medicine and social sciences.
It is a muggy Tuesday evening. Because it is Florida and it is summer, the impending storm promises no relief from the sticky heaviness that infuses the air. A line winds through the parking lot of a nondescript building. Children play under tents that offer paltry shade to their exhausted parents as they give their names to the students manning the reception table.
Each time we came in for our Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) Medical Clinic, we never knew what to expect. IMANA clinic is a community-based project led by the Albany Medical College Family Medicine Office that connects medical students to the local Muslim population through screening and education clinics at Masjid As-Salaam. This masjid is the central prayer space and community support for many of Albany’s Muslims. The unique quality of this service-learning program is its emphasis on cultural competency and understanding the role of spirituality in medical care.
My initial interest in medicine came from an unlikely source, a stranger I will presumably never meet again. I was volunteering with one of the nurses at a local Healthcare for the Homeless clinic during my first year of college. From my seat in the corner, I noticed with some apprehension a young man whose body was covered with tattoos. Two tattoos in particular caught my attention. The first was on his neck: a five-point crown …
Medicine is the career path I have chosen to pursue, and I feel grateful to live in a city I adore while I work in a field I love. I have long taken for granted that I can make choices about where I want my life to go because of the freedoms I have in this country, because of my family and friends’ support, and because of the resources that are available to me. Ultimately, …
In times of medical ailment, individuals desperately seek medical attention — in particular, a cure or treatment to alleviate their illness. In these times of need, patients turn towards physicians for a diagnosis and effective treatment plan, relying on the latest technologies and therapeutic modalities to jumpstart a return to a normal lifestyle. However, what happens when there is no treatment, no cure and no therapy? When modern medicine no longer has anything to offer, patients …
Editor’s note: This article was originally published here by contributing writer Paul Thomas. This morning, I had the good fortune of practicing medicine in a homeless shelter with Street Medicine Detroit (SMD). SMD is a student-run organization at Wayne State University School of Medicine that ventures out into the community and provides compassionate medical care to the underserved and homeless of Detroit. Because of the cold weather in Michigan, our “street run” took place inside a church just off …
Tonight is not any different. A list of twenty-five patients to be seen. A standing room full of eager volunteer medical students — who just can’t wait to do some doctoring — and a lone attending physician, a family physician who probably enjoys seeing the medical students acting important, walking around with their shiny stethoscopes around their necks, more than anything else. On second thought, maybe the doctor is here every week because he wants …
Jimmy Tam Huy Pham (4 Posts)
Columnist and Editor Emeritus: Former Medical Student Editor (2012-2015)
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jimmy is residing in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his undergraduate degrees from California State University of Long Beach. Actively involved in research, his interests include internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, and medical humanities.
Jimmy also volunteers at local community events and non-profit clinics in the Phoenix, Arizona and Orange County, California areas.