Filling the Vacuum: Immigration, Health Policy and Latino Leadership in Medicine

By Jacob Begres and Orlando Sola

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
-Donald Trump

The history of the United States is defined by waves of immigration, starting first with English religious migrants and moving through migration from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.  Though we have seen periods of migration from a variety of cultures and ethnicities, the Latino experience has been particularly entwined in our country’s history and reaches back to the very founding of the nation, when lands inhabited by Spanish-speaking communities were integrated into the new American social fabric.  Despite this long history of Latino migration, however, the history of discourse surrounding Latino economic and political migrants has been fraught with bigotry and historical myopia from its political leaders.  We need look no further than our own presidential election to find examples…
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Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, a poem by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

This poem is metaphorically from the cutting room floor, meaning that it was cut from the original manuscript for my novel-in-verse, Under the Mesquite.  My editor at Lee & Low Books, Emily Hazel, and I both agreed that given the nature of the manuscript, our intended audience, and the gentle treatment of the cancer in the rest of the narrative, this poem was too complex and a bit too graphic to be included in the final draft.  To this day “POPOCATEPETL AND IZTACCIHUATL” remains one of my most beloved poems.  I share it with you as an ofrenda, a humble offering, in gratitude for the wonderful reception, support, and warmth bestowed upon me during my author visit to the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine on October 25, 2016.  I hope you enjoy it.
All my best,
Guadalupe Garcia McCallRead More »

#WhiteCoats4BlackLives

The capturing on video of the recent death of Terence Crutcher due to a police shooting has renewed concern about the respect paid to black lives in U.S. society.  ReflectiveMedEd reprints these remarks from a #WhiteCoats4BlackLives event at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine which was part of a national observance that gathered significant media attention. (See MSNBC link)

Loyola Stritch Medical Students Participate in National Justice Action

The following remarks were delivered by first year student, Kamaal Jones at a “die-in” on December 10, 2014 in the Atrium of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.  This event was part of a nation-wide day of action at medical schools calling attention to the need to become a more just and inclusive society toward persons of color.  The staged “die-in” specifically expressed solidarity with all seeking justice for deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  This action was student-led and coordinated by Chizelle Rush.

kjones-bGood afternoon, my name is Kamaal Jones and I am a first year medical student here at Stritch.  I first would like to briefly acknowledge all those involved in making today happen, specifically Chizelle Rush, who really took the lead in mobilizing and organizing us for this event.  Today we, along with over 1000 medical students across the nation, are here to stand in solidarity with the recent protests which have captivated our country.  For those who may lack some familiarity, these demonstrations have been born from a long history of issues with racial profiling and police violence in our society, and specifically, the grossly disproportionate levels at which the lives of Black and Brown people are taken by officers in this nation.  The tipping point which has served as the catalyst for these most recent events was the August 9th killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as the July 17th killing of an unarmed man named Eric Garner by an NYPD officer in Staten Island, NY. In both of these incidents, Grand Jury’s decided not to seek any charges against the officers…

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A Journey to the Border: A Reflection of the Other Side

By Jeff Ni

“A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” ― Ronald Reagan

Today, immigration is a multifaceted topic, and oftentimes, the political narrative surrounding immigration is rife with dread. Much of the conversation is driven by fear, not of the Mexican, but of the even more terrifying unknown. I would venture that few people who have an “informed” opinion on border policy have sacrificed the time to genuinely hear the situation of the migrant. Even fewer have probably visited the border itself.

As a medical student at a pioneer institution for the acceptance of DACA students, I recognized my own ignorance on immigration, and I decided to participate in a summer trip to Tucson to learn from an outstanding educational organization called Borderlinks. My trip was brief but sufficient for me to realize that the situation was dire, and that our country, sadly and profoundly, had lost control…
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Awareness Creation in Healthcare Should be a Priority in the Developing World

By Calvince Owiti

I was born about two decades ago in a small village in Western parts of Kenya.  I grew up in a humble background, learning all that was relevant that time.  My grandparents were herbal medical practitioners.  I lived with them most of my early life even though my parents were still alive. My grandfather kept on calling me ‘ajuoga’(meaning doctor).  Before he became a herbalist, he had been to a seminary where he was training as a father but left before finishing for a driving job in Tanzania.  He could urge me every morning to study hard in class to become a modern doctor.  They could treat all conditions, including malaria, curses as well as a number of obstetric/gynecological conditions.  However; there was one practice that kept me wondering…

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Social determinants: Why are they so difficult to address?

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. 1869

By Greg Gruener

At a lecture I recently attended with our students, the guest speaker’s topic was on health disparities and the data presented was, as most of us in the healthcare field know, pretty conclusive.  I have to admit that I knew and had seen this same information in prior lectures, articles, and had gone over it in small group discussions.  I also knew that health disparities existed because of various social determinants.  While the subsequent discussion moved along, I was left at the reflective starting line since I finally grasped the fact that being caused by social determinants, health disparities could only be completely addressed by changing those same determinants.  This is not news for most people in healthcare as their organizations and schools, unlike business, law, etc., have been charged (and are accredited) with addressing those determinants.  So, despite being immersed in the data, why had it taken me so long to have this aha moment?  Here is my explanation for a cognitive lapse, as informed by Donald Rumsfeld…

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Promoting Social Justice in Medical Education

A profile of Dean Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, Dean and Chief Diversity Officer, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Professor Linda Brubaker brings an enthusiasm for medical education, social justice, and her medical specialty fields of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (urogynecology) to her several roles at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). As a medical scholar, researcher, educator, journal editor, and clinician who sees patients every week, author of nearly 300 journal articles and book chapters, and principal investigator on five federally-funded research grants, she is uniquely suited to leading a medical school in the application of Jesuit educational values…

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