Tag: medical student advocacy

Florence Yip Florence Yip (6 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine


Florence is a third year medical student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado class of 2023. In 2018, she graduated from University of Denver with a Bachelor of Science in biology with minors in chemistry and medical physics. She enjoys practicing Muay Thai, playing board games with friends, painting and taking her dog out for hikes in her free time.




From womb to tomb

I created this piece as a donation to Female Tales Untold, a student-led event which raises money for SafeHouse Denver, an organization which serves women experiencing domestic violence in the Denver metropolitan area. This event is led my students from Rocky Vista University, the medical school I attend.

From Child Interpreter to Student Physician

I learned English out of necessity — not only for myself but also for my family. I grew up in Mexico and moved to a small Northern California town at the age of eight. When we moved to the United States, I was placed in an English-speaking classroom with no one who spoke Spanish. Necessity forced me to learn English quickly and, as a result, I became my family’s unofficial interpreter, including at their medical appointments.

Voting is Healthy: A Voter Mobilization Campaign in Georgia Founded by Medical Students

As medical students at Emory, we spent our first six months building a firm conception of what it means to be healthy. It did not take long to appreciate how much of our patients’ health would be determined by their social context before they ever walk into our clinics and hospitals. The importance of adequate and healthy nutrition, safe housing and manageable stress is clearly linked to patient outcomes. We can see these issues on the ballot in every election. In this sense, voting is healthy.

Exquisitely Tender

A 5-year-old African-American boy presents to the emergency department with left leg pain. His leg is exquisitely tender to palpation… If I read this vignette in the first year of medical school, I would have navigated to the multiple-choice answers to select anything related to sickle cell disease. The question writers are stating that the patient is Black, young and has a painful limb — this is not a difficult diagnosis.

The “Problem” with Politics and Medicine

In 2018, a patient filed a complaint against a medical student for wearing a “Black Lives Matter” pin on her white coat. When the student reached out to her school’s administration, she received this response: “It is best to not raise barriers in the way we present ourselves … Some of your political pins may offend some people, and it is probably best not to wear them on your white coat or while you are working in a professional role.”

The Long Overdue Cessation of Harmful Surgeries on Intersex Children

Recently two prominent children’s hospitals have made unprecedented announcements. Boston Children’s Hospital and Chicago’s Laurie Children’s Hospital announced that they would stop performing certain surgeries on children born with intersex traits. These announcements come after huge direct efforts by advocacy groups like The Intersex Jusice Project, lead by Pidgeon Pagonis, and InterAct, a national intersex youth advocacy group. 

Drivers of Disease, Hidden in Plain Sight

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that what we, the medical providers, think is important may not necessarily be the priority of the patient. We want to know: why are your sugars uncontrolled? How is your diet? Have you been able to take your metformin? However, for the patient, these things are often trivial. The patient wants to know: how will I be able to afford these medications with my part-time job? How am I expected to see a specialist without insurance? Should I be going outside to exercise, or will I contract coronavirus?

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.”

To Stay Home You Need To Have One: Housing As Primary Prevention

Moreover, homelessness and COVID-19  both disproportionately burden marginalized populations — in particular, Black communities and Native Americans. When COVID-19 began spreading through the community, it came as no surprise that it would disproportionately impact those living in congregate homeless shelters. Overcrowded shelters, the inability to physically distance, and poor access to handwashing and hygiene facilities are coalescing for an unsafe environment that could accelerate disease transmission.

Trisha Kaundinya (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Trisha is a first-year MD/MPH student at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. In 2020, she graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Science in human sciences and disorders, a Bachelors of Arts in neuroscience, and a certificate in leadership. She has worked internationally for a nonprofit as a global impact fellow and medical journalist. She enjoys biking, kayaking, cooking, and writing on her blog, Medical Memoirs, in her free time. In the future, Trisha would like to pursue a career in academic medicine.