Charity Scott, JD and professor of law at the Georgia State Catherine C. Henson School of Law, stood at the front of our medical school lecture hall with her arms stretched wide. “The welfare of a pregnant mother?” she said as she dipped one arm down, burdened by an invisible weight. “Or the welfare of an unborn child?”
The room is unassuming from the outside. It’s a tiny space not much larger than a storage closet tucked into an office in the school of public health. I do my usual clinic routine in reverse: notebook pulled out of pocket and white coat slipped off and left outside.
Health policy can feel like 2018’s hottest topic and many students are looking for a way to learn more. I encourage students to think beyond the policy they see in Washington, D.C. to the laws governing their communities.
Universities have been profiting off students due to the capitalistic and flawed nature of our health care system. Regional hospital networks prevent students from utilizing their insurance elsewhere. With nowhere else to turn, they are forced to pay high premiums for the university plan.
FQHCs serve complex patients, many with multiple comorbidities that have worsened due to lack of health care, health insurance or distrust of the health care system.
On October 6, 2016, the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed that a new health disparity population has been designated for research purposes. Eliseo J. Perez-Stable, MD, the director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, released a message stating that sexual and gender minorities (SGM) will be classified as a minority population, which suggests health disparities exist within this population.
I only realized that I was an optimist on November 9. Crushing disbelief is cliche, and yet — as I walked home, hot-cheeked, through rain and yolk-colored streetlights just after midnight, past a dive bar where neighbors tallied states and feverishly refreshed fivethirtyeight — I felt trampled.
As a fourth-year medical student, I enjoy introducing myself to patients as the “extra eyes and ears of the team, so feel free to tell me anything you forgot or would like to address, even if you think it’s irrelevant or burdensome. I will be your advocate.” As I establish rapport with them, the walls come down, and they often provide important information that helps my team provide the best care for them.
“Here is what I would like you to know,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son in his New York Times bestselling book Between the World and Me. “In America, it is tradition to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” Drawing on recent events, Coates shines a bright light on the very tangible obstacles African-Americans face in our country. Unfortunately, this is a reality that has largely been swept under the rug by the rest of America, including its health care providers.It is time that healthcare providers, and in particular primary care providers, confront this reality.
Ten male students crowded around a clean-shaven instructor who asked a series of questions. The students had meticulously prepared and would maintain close proximity to well-rehearsed answers. Hopefully the questions are simple, they thought. One by one, they answered, at times stumbling through their responses. This was expected. The students were learning and the incorrect answers allowed room for humility. Such a scene could easily describe an American teaching hospital, or, a Republican presidential debate.
Though they make up 5.6 percent of the US population, discussions about Asian-American health appear to be few and far between. According to the Asian-American Health Initiative, a variety of medical and public health scourges disproportionately affect the Asian-American community. Some of these disparities entail disease incidence, while others describe a paucity of certain preventive health measures being delivered to this group.
I recently had the opportunity to shadow a local occupational medicine physician over spring break. I arrived at his office Monday morning expecting a brief day of clinic, maybe some conversation over lunch; maybe I get lucky and he pays for my sandwich. Within minutes of meeting him, though, the physician offered to host me for the entire week on a “mini-rotation.”