Medical student Katelyn Girtain writes about her experiences as a child of a disabled mother that contributed to the lack of proper insurance and ultimately the occurrence of preventable health issues. She also explores relevant policies and the lack of literature on the impacts of parental disability/lack of insurance on children.
Medical student Sara Phillips writes a personal reflection, grounded in scholarly literature, that details her exploration of racism as a mechanism for perpetuating disparities in maternal health outcomes. The piece traces discriminatory policies and actions undertaken by physicians and leaders in the field of obstetrics and gynecology to portray a historical origin for contemporary health inequities. Interacting with these grim stories and statistics, she reflects on what it means for her to seek out a career in OB/GYN to confront this prejudicial history and create a more just path forward.
Medical student Micky Akinrodoye reflects on his experiences of being a part of the care team for a complicated patient. With the understanding that every patient has a unique story and life experiences, Micky shares his outlook on the type of physician he would like to become in the future.
Medical student Allen Betts explores the often underrated effect of psychosocial determinants and the integral part they play in the influencing health and well-being. Read more to find out how he has come to appreciate the soft skills a physician gleans through patient encounters rather than through books.
Jean Anne Adomfeh unravels a common gender bias, contained in diagnosing chest pain, that has existed in medicine for decades and how through a few simple yet profound words of a teacher, combined with experiences along the way, she is inspired to help change the narrative.
Future physician Yomna Amer broaches the topic of religion in the clinical environment and opines that, along with diversity, it can be used as a powerful therapeutic tool to connect with patients.
Medical student Allen Betts writes a letter to a former patient reflecting on the importance of treating a patient as a person rather than a disease.
Medical student Ritha Mera reviews responses to reproductive health care accesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mera writes as an advocate for women of color and highlights health disparities in vulnerable populations. Through drawing comparisons to past natural disasters and tracking the current pandemic’s harmful impacts on reproductive health care, Mera makes an argument for contraception and family planning to be included in emergency protocols for future disruptions.
In line with my training, I have been taught to identify myself by name and position when introducing myself to patients. And so I do: I say, “My name is Rasan Cherala and I am a fourth-year medical student who will be taking care of you today.” This introduction is supposed to set the stage for a productive relationship.
We are taught about the social determinants of health in the first week of medical school. That things like finances, job stress, education, safety, and environment, often have as much an impact on health as does pathophysiology.