Tag: health care policy

Swetha Tummala Swetha Tummala (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Boston University School of Medicine


Swetha is a first-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, MA class of 2024. In 2020, she graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in medical sciences. She enjoys singing, playing the ukulele, and baking in her free time.




Physicians’ Role in Addressing Racism

Mercedes drove two hours to the nearest healthcare clinic to get her first physical exam in ten years. I met Mercedes while shadowing a primary care physician, Dr. L. In the clinic, Mercedes divulged to me how nervous she had been driving in – she knew what the meeting held in store. Her fears were confirmed: just five minutes into her exam, Dr. L advised her, “Mercedes, you have to lose weight.”

Forced Hysterectomies in ICE Detention Centers: A Continuation of Our Country’s Sordid History of Reproduction Control.

This unrest reached a high point in September, when nurse Dawn Wooten filed a formal complaint against Dr. Mahendra Amin, a Georgia physician working at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center, who she claims performed mass hysterectomies on detained immigrant women without consent. While the country reacted in shock, the reality is that coerced sterilization against communities of color is not new. The United States has a shameful history of exploiting Black and brown women’s bodies as part of a larger objective for population control rooted in white supremacy — and the medical field is partly to blame.

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

There is a cost crisis in medicine: the healthcare 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.

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.

Embracing Alphabet Soup: The Importance of Dual-Degree Programs in Medical Education and Health Care

As medical students, we marvel at the endless combinations of letters often embroidered on white coats representing physicians’ degrees and association affiliations: MD, MBBS, DO, PhD, MSc, MBA, MPH, MPP, MS, MTR, JD, MSHP and so on. This “alphabet soup” represents the important diversity that exists in our profession.

Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (1 Posts)

Medical Students for a Sustainable Future is a network of medical students who recognize climate change as an urgent threat to health and social justice. Motivated to protect our future patients and communities we love, we catalyze action to prevent and address the health harms of climate change.