The Refocused Health Policy Sandstorm

The Refocused Health Policy Sandstorm

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.

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Hot Take: Health Care Copays are Placing Our Inmates at Risk

Hot Take: Health Care Copays are Placing Our Inmates at Risk

Hebron KelechaClass 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.

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Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale

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.

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Photographic Memories

Photographic Memories

David Brown, M1, Class of 2023

My name is David Brown and I am an M1 who runs a small photography business, DB Photo Co. I started photography in high school for fun with taking photos of my friends here and there. My freshman year at Kansas State, I got a job as a university student photographer which really allowed my skill to increase as I worked under two very phenomenal photographers. With some guidance, I was able to start DB Photo Co. and begin developing a portfolio as I took on senior photos, graduation photos, engagements/proposals, and weddings over the past four years. Some of my favorite memories have been from behind the camera, and I hope to keep doing photography alongside medicine in the future!

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Lessons From Huck Finn: Reliable Narration in Medicine

Lessons From Huck Finn: Reliable Narration in Medicine

Nate Cameron, M1, Class of 2023

“and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another…”

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The first time I discovered books could lie to me was the summer before seventh grade, laboring through Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s novel opens in an almost confessional tone, explaining to me— the dedicated reader— that another novel couldn’t be trusted to fully tell the truth. In this way, I stumbled upon what literary people call “unreliable narrators.” The experience was one of my first storytelling revelations— characters possessed the capacity to withhold, modify, or even forget information in the stories I was reading. Huck Finn planted seeds of awareness, if not distrust, for future narrators I would encounter.

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Schrödinger’s Residency Application: Reflecting on My Life as a Student

Schrödinger’s Residency Application: Reflecting on My Life as a Student

Daniel Ortiz, M4, Class of 2020

Two interviews in and I feel like I’m saying too much and getting it all wrong. They’re going to hate my scores. What if they don’t like my answers? Why am I so anxious? I just want this to be the right place for me. This might sound like that time we all applied to medical school, but I’m referring to residency interviews as a fourth-year medical student.

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