What Now?

I really enjoyed being in SO215 this semester. I can definitely say that I have learned so many things about our health care system that I was completely unaware of before. I think it was really important for me to take this course because my goal is to one day become a doctor. I believe it’s important to know the origins of the modern health care system and what the current state of affairs is in order for future doctors to be able to bring about effective change. This course has opened my eyes to the imperfections of our health care system but has also shown me that there is hope. There are activists and nations out there who have already begun the next step in our health care system’s evolution and I hope that by the time I enter the medical field, I will be able to do so with pride. I think one of the things I learned about our health care system is that, with the right conditions, reform is possible. I have to say that my least favorite part about this class was learning about the negative aspects of our health care system, simply because I was so unaware of many of these facts before (for example, the existence of the chargemaster). Perhaps one day I will have the chance to be a part of the change that minimizes/eradicates the profit-seeking, corrupt, and unjust aspects of our health care system, and takes it back to its initial beneficent and altruistic roots.

Massachusetts Look to Raise the Legal Age for Buying Cigarettes to 21

Tobacco use is one of the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. To add on, several studies suggests that about 90% of daily smokers first used cigarettes before the age of 19. Thus, Massachusetts’ lawmakers are weighing the possibility to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. Continue reading “Massachusetts Look to Raise the Legal Age for Buying Cigarettes to 21”

How have hospitals changed throughout history and what implications do these changes have on care?

In Charles Rosenberg’s  piece, “The Rise of the Modern Hospital,” he discusses the  transformation of the hospital throughout history and the implications that have resulted from this change. In the early 1800s, care was typically seen in the home. Hospitals were more like wards that provided “room and board” type services for the poor who did not have a home or family caretakers to give them care. As hospitals transformed in the 1900s, care in hospitals was no longer an outlet for the poor. This has had extreme implications today since we now see a significant problem with providing access to healthcare to the poor. In the 1920s, hospitals determined admission based on social position, diagnosis, and therapeutic capacity. Hospitals became an institution and a marketplace where providing care meant maximizing on income from those who could afford care. This meant that more people were now unable to afford care at hospitals and they were “unwilling to enter charity wards in voluntary hospitals” (Rosenberg). This was a “failure to provide optimum care at a reasonable cost”(Rosenberg).  This also meant that chronic care was ignored and acute care was pursued. If healthcare has progressed in research and in technology why is quality of care still so poor? Why are we ignoring the poor and why are we so fixated on financial reimbursements? How do we find ways to fix this problem when it is so deeply rooted in our history?

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

In The Rise of the Modern Hospital, Charles Rosenberg discusses the “contentious present and problematic future” of the hospital and explores the factors that led to the evolution of this institution from the subpar ragtag collection of inpatient beds in 1800 to the profit-maximizing monolith of the 21st century. This reading made me reflect on the things we’ve learned throughout the course of this semester. Before this class, I knew that our health care system was flawed but I had no idea of the extent of these imperfections.

Continue reading “What Goes Up, Must Come Down”