As a medical and public health student quarantined at home with two physician parents and a new college graduate sibling, we can speak about the COVID-19 pandemic research, guidelines, and epidemiology around the dinner with relative ease. Everyone in my immediate family has experience with interpreting research and data; in fact, my sister’s first scientific paper was published in a journal a few months ago. In this way, because of ...

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The results of a 2019 research article in the journal Science uncovered significant racial bias in commonly used population health algorithms used to identify and assign care to patients with complex, active health needs. Using a large clinical data set, the researchers showed that Black patients are considerably sicker than white patients at any given risk score. They demonstrated that remedying this disparity would more than ...

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Imagine having lost your sole source of income in June in the midst of a global pandemic. This is not a unique situation; after all, the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on many families. And in the United States, life has irrevocably changed. But the worst is yet to come. Illinois is seeing exponential growth of patients with COVID-19, and winter is coming. With ...

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I've been doing health policy for thirty years. I arguably know something about health insurance. For the life of me, I can't figure out what Kelly Loeffler is proposing under her health plan––particularly when it comes to current protections for preexisting conditions. In 2017, Republicans proposed a plan that would have arguably given states the ability to reverse Obamacare's protections for preexisting conditions. Something I highly doubt states would have done if ...

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One of the most salient issues in America has always been access to health care. As a medical student, I have seen firsthand the importance of strong health care protections for patients. I believe that the November election result is only a start toward better policies –  a future in which we, as medical trainees, must play an active role in. In recent history, with the passage of the Affordable ...

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Life as we know it has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every aspect of our health care system is affected; in particular, our nation’s frontline workers are being stretched like never before. From managing the pandemic long term to physician well-being, social determinants of health (SDOH), and health care reform, the incoming Administration should heed doctors’ warnings to foster a health care system that works for everyone.


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COVID-19 has propelled the nation into widespread telehealth services to provide consumer-based care, especially for those who access this technology. Equity issues arise when using digital communication because many underserved populations lack access to digital and/or mobile services. Inevitably, this brings up the greater concern of an unintentional exacerbation of disparities because low-income groups face limited access to both computers, mobile services, and the internet. Hence, investing in access to ...

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President-elect Joe Biden revealed on November 9, 2020, the members of his COVID-19 task force.  His swift announcement of the task force clarifies that addressing the health and economic problems related to COVID-19 is his immediate priority. The president-elect has assembled an advisory team of medical experts. The team, which includes an impressive list of scientists, physicians, and public health leaders, is absent a vital voice: the mental health professional. Although some ...

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My first meeting with a therapist was a success: she specialized in type-A personalities, was transparent about her eclectic approach, and her office – on the bottom floor of a converted San Francisco townhouse – felt somewhere still and safe, a purple-carpeted hideaway in the belly of the Earth. On the train out of the city, I watched my reflection melt in and out of the glass: I was a person ...

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“I’ve been left out here to die ever since my legs were cut off,” he said joylessly. He was a gruff, elderly man, sharp as a tack, bundled in tattered blankets. His below-knee amputations were tucked away in his cramped wheelchair. This man had been street homeless for many years, his primary residence being a dangerous park. He was often attacked, robbed, or pushed out of his wheelchair onto his face, ...

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