Tag: medical student advocacy

Carrie Crook Carrie Crook (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Tulane University School of Medicine


Carrie Crook is a fourth year MD-MPH student at Tulane University School of Medicine from Mobile, AL. She received her BA in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a 4-year varsity athlete on the women’s soccer team. Carrie is passionate about pursuing epidemiological research to alleviate health disparities and influence equitable health policy.




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. Rather than envisioning …

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.

Keeping Promises: Care for the Homeless

It was a Saturday morning and there were close to fifty volunteers who gathered at a homeless shelter in Riverside, CA ready to give out hygiene care packages and offer free showers, haircuts, clothes, and food. Eager medical students and physician assistants provided free health care screening and visits. Efforts like these are fairly common — nothing groundbreaking.

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.

Christina Chen (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program


Christina is a second-year medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program in Berkeley, CA/San Francisco, CA (MS 2021/MD 2024). In 2017, she graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She enjoys playing piano, writing stories, and watching anime in her free time. After graduating medical school, Christina would like to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry.