Tag: humanism in medicine

Priya Rajan (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of California, Riverside School of Medicine


Priya Rajan is a second-year medical student at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine in Riverside, CA class of 2023. In 2013, she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, concentrating in international relations and comparative politics. Priya is also a registered yoga teacher. She enjoys reading, baking sourdough bread, exercising outdoors, practicing yoga, and watching Schitt's Creek in her free time. After graduating medical school, Priya would like to pursue a career in Family Practice and Sports Medicine.




What Brings Patients to Free Clinics?

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.

Soulful Medicine

And with scientific advancements came cures and treatments that the healers of antiquity could have never imagined. However, these advances came at the cost of appreciating a holistic approach to health. How pitiful is it when a profession which was once completely focused on healing the whole person must now devote entire conferences and countless seminars to finding ways of injecting that back into both its practitioners and the people they serve? In modern times, this disconnect is often bridged by the chaplaincy and pastoral care team. I understood this when I first reached out to Reverend Johnson. I hoped that she would be able to shed light on her profession as well as on her role in caring for patients.

The Privilege of Patient Care

Each morning, Mr. E had a new concern — too hot, too cold, too dizzy, too stiff. He was admitted for what seemed to be a straightforward heart failure exacerbation, but his echocardiography showed severe hypertrophy in both sides of his heart that the cardiologists described as “concerning for infiltrative cardiomyopathy.”  For me, this was intriguing; as a fourth-year medical student with only one year of clinical training under my belt, the autoimmune diseases I’ve come across in actual practice have been few and far between. Mr. E, however, seemed completely uninterested whenever I brought up the amyloidosis they had found on nuclear imaging.

Allow Natural Death

Allowing natural death gives the elderly and terminally ill the opportunity to control the end of their life, providing empowerment and a sense of peace during their time of uncertainty. This patient and her family’s forethought allowed us to provide medications to ease her pain and discomfort. When she closed her eyes for the last time, her body relaxed into the sheets, and I pulled the blanket up to her shoulders. Her family said goodbye, and then I began to perform post-mortem care.

Kathryn Norman Kathryn Norman (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Massachusetts Medical School


Kathryn Norman is a fourth-year medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School class of 2021. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Harvard University in 2015. Before starting medical school, she worked as a CDC Public Health Associate in Modesto, CA, where she discovered her love for both local health policy and hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.