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.
Coming into this class, my knowledge regarding the U.S healthcare system was limited. I would see articles online and hear stories on the news about Medicare, Medicaid, and rising health care costs and have superficial understanding of what this truly meant. Being a pre-med student I have been exposed to various settings in the healthcare field but have always been a one-sided observer, seeing only what was clearly presented to me. For example, during my senior year of high school, I shadowed with nearly twenty different healthcare providers, ranging from a cardiologist to an oral surgeon to a pathologist who performed autopsies. After being presented with the various facts, statistics, and personal accounts shown in class I often find myself reflecting back on those shadowing experiences with an entirely new perspective and noticing things I did not notice before. For example, while shadowing a veterinarian I remembered being asked if I would like to stay for a luncheon and presentation provided by a drug company, not knowing the Big Pharma’s manipulation of healthcare providers. Moreover, I also shadowed an ER physician in a public hospital located in a poverty stricken area. I remember seeing one child on the entire floor of the ER and reflecting back I realized that this public hospital, rather than a private hospital with a pediatric ward, was probably one of the few places in which the parents could afford to take their child and their insurance would be accepted.
There are certain statistics as well personal accounts from this class that I will not easily forget. This includes certain facts such as how much the U.S. spends on healthcare and how little we receive in return compared to other countries, the existence of overtreatment and a chargemaster, and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry in medicalization and drug pricing. I also did not realize the tremendous amount of people underinsured or lacking insurance all together. Next year being the first time I can vote, this has greatly influenced my candidate choices. With that said, the portion of this course I found most interesting was the beginning of the course, involving the high costs of healthcare and the role of commercialism and consumerism in the healthcare field. This has given me an entirely new perspective on the healthcare field and at times has made me reconsider if I want to be part of this “business.” I have concluded that when I do enter this field one day, I want to avoid the profit driven mindset existing in modern healthcare.
All in all, this has been one of the most informative and eye-opening courses I have taken at BU thus far. I would highly recommend this course not only to those who are health majors but also to anyone who has limited knowledge of the healthcare field.
This course was a pleasant surprise to say the least. I didn’t expect to learn so much about the history of health care as I did. I more or less expected to learn strictly about the current challenges we have in our health care system and how the people in the United States are affected by it. Additionally, I thought we would learn about how people in turn affect the health care system. Both of these were covered extensively, but so much more was covered to my great excitement.
As we progress into the second midterm, I think back to the first section and can conclude that the second half was definitely more interesting and insightful than the first. In the first section, the professor went over a lot of fundamental debates and keypoints of healthcare and gave an sociological overview of healthcare in the United States. We discussed many problems with it compared to other countries in the world, and came up with potential solutions that we as health care providers and sociologists can do in the future. In the second half of the course, we were really able to delve into details about what medical professionals face on a day to day basis and see the forces that come into play when doctors see their patients. Continue reading “Process Reflection 2”