Miranda Machacek, M4, Class of 2020
I laid my original white coat to rest at a beach in Auckland, New Zealand after my final day of an international clinical rotation. White coat disposal ceremonies are a tradition I must confess I have greatly anticipated. I had grown to resent that coat and what it meant. Its characteristic short length was an immediate signal to any healthcare professional in the hospital that I was a student – perhaps to some savvy patients as well. I frequently felt the weight of the “student” label while walking through the hospital. The real or imagined looks of patients, nurses, residents, and attendings that said I was a temporary time-waster at best and utterly incompetent at worst.
Continue reading “R.I.P. White Coat”
David Embers – Class of 2020
Four-year-old David was a simple guy. He loved to eat, he loved to argue, but most of all, he loved to wear hats. He loved cowboy hats, baseball hats, and party hats. Any kind of hat. An odd obsession for sure, especially when his head was so egregiously large. Regardless, it was his first love. His favorite book to read at bedtime was Caps for Sale, a children’s book detailing the life of a cap peddler who was unique in that he wore all the hats he had for sale on his own head. My mom and dad must have read me that book a thousand times. I can still recite entire pages from memory. I spent hours thinking about how happy that hat salesman must have been. Considering its intended audience was pre-kindergarten, the book’s author likely did not anticipate impacting a reader so deeply, but that’s an issue to take up with pudgy, argumentative, cap wearing four-year-old David. How frustrating must it be to be my parents? You pick out some random book at the bookstore hoping your kid will fall asleep by page four like he does every other book. Instead, he forces you to re-read it over and over again. And then, the next day, when you need help putting away dishes, he’s standing there eating his eighth popsicle, daydreaming about how many hats he can balance on his head. Whatever my parents got paid to put up with me, it wasn’t enough. And yet, as it stands today, some twenty years later, I’m still thinking about that book. Popsicle in hand, I’m still thinking about what it really means to wear all the hats.
Continue reading “Caps for Sale”
Hebron Kelecha – Class of 2021
Imagine you work in the kitchen of a correctional
facility and your copay for a doctors’ visit costs $5. However, you make a
whopping 33 cents an hour.
That is the reality faced by many who are incarcerated
in prisons throughout the United States. It is not surprising that most of our
prison population is poor when they enter the prison system. Couple this with
jobs that pay less than a dollar an hour and fees for accessing health care,
and we are laying the foundation for negative health outcomes.
Continue reading “Hot Take: Health Care Copays are Placing Our Inmates at Risk”
Kate Dixon, M1, Class of 2023
The world of health policy has been consumed with the
concern of drug prices – just absolutely and utterly offended by the list price
of brand name drugs. How could you not be? When you have drugs like Zolgensma –
a brand new drug approved to treat spinal muscular atrophy – running $2.1 million
for a single treatment course, it’s pretty easy to throw blame at Big Pharma for
the egregious state of the United States’ health care spending. However, when
you zoom out and compare drug spending to other expenditures in the vast and
complex world of US health care, it becomes pretty clear where the true
financial abuse is present – Big Name Hospitals.
Continue reading “The Refocused Health Policy Sandstorm”