CCPA 2019 Summer Series: Tufts Medical Center

CCPA 2019 Summer Series: Tufts Medical Center

Good morning! My name is Sarah Curtis (’20, she/her/hers) and I am a rising senior and biology major. This summer I am sponsored by the Jaharis Fellowship to work in primary care at Tufts Medical Center (Boston, MA). I’m going to take you through an average day of work today, so sit down and strap in! 11:30 am: Arrive at Downtown Crossing Train Station. I clip on my Tufts Employee badge and make my way through bustling downtown Boston, to Tufts Medical Center main hospital. On my way I pass through Chinatown to pick up bubble tea. Outside the tea shop, I run into one of the Mandarin-speaking patients that I see in the primary care office. We do not speak the same language, but we smile at each other in recognition. Tufts serves the diverse immigrant communities in Boston, and through my time at the hospital I have learned a great deal about the demographics of my home city.   12:00 pm: I make my way over to the Outpatient Services building. Sipping on my bubble tea, I climb three flights of stairs and make my way across the indoor “bridge” that separates inpatient and outpatient services. With my badge on, nurses and physicians smile and me, and I feel inducted into the special world of the who have studied the mysteries of the human body. I also make sure to greet every patient I see. I do not know why they wander through the hospital today- maybe to get routine blood work, or have come in for a dose of chemotherapy- but I do know that a smile can really...
CCPA Summer Series: OptumCare

CCPA Summer Series: OptumCare

By Arielle Schultz As a premed Biology major, my Haverford courses have given me ample exposure to the cellular processes at the root of human health. To learn more about the practice of medicine, I knew I wanted to spend this summer engaged in a patient-care centered environment. Thanks to funding from the Jaharis Primary Care Pre-Medical Internship, I spent my summer as an intern with a family medicine physician at the OptumCare clinic in Cypress, CA. Family Medicine providers see patients of all ages, which lends to an interesting variety of cases. From children who had incurred sports injuries to senior citizens developing dementia, I observed the full breadth of health care management that falls under the umbrella of Family Medicine. Some patients come in once a year for an annual physical, while others with chronic conditions may need to schedule appointments every 3-4 months. Health care providers have to be able to both manage chronic conditions over several years and quickly diagnose and assess acute illnesses and injuries. The physician I shadowed often said to patients, “Sometimes it’s my job to push you into the medical vortex, and sometimes it’s my job to pull you out.” An advantage of healthcare today is patients’ access to subspecialists who can provide expert care and innovative treatment. But diagnostics can be invasive, treatments have risks, and certain medications have negative interactions. Thus, it is part of the Primary Care provider’s job to distinguish red flags from common symptoms or signs of aging, and to advise the patient and their family on whether to consult further medical care or wait-and-see. I...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: HealthPoint

CCPA Summer Series 2019: HealthPoint

By Harika Dabbara This summer I am working at HealthPoint through the Jaharis Primary Care Pre-Medical Internship. HealthPoint is a non-profit community health center geared towards providing healthcare to all members of the community with an emphasis on providing care to underserved communities in the area. As a pre-med student interested in community health, and having learned about various social determinants of health in my classes at Haverford, I wanted to spend the summer gaining firsthand experience of how these factors affect patients in a medical setting. I was particularly interested in working at HealthPoint because of their emphasis on providing holistic care. Their approach to health care goes beyond addressing biomedical factors affecting a patients’ health, but also addresses the unique social, cultural and behavioral factors that play a role in health outcomes. Patients are encouraged to work with providers outside of their primary care provider to help address arrive at a diagnosis. Visits often involve a nutritionist and behavioral health specialist in addition to the primary care provider, to help patients create a care plan considering the various factors that affect their health. In addition to providing holistic care to their patients, HealthPoint strives to make care accessible to the community by helping patients cover their medical costs through obtaining the proper health insurance as well as enrolling in various public and private aid programs. I think that these measures are critical to providing proper care to all patients and was really excited to become a part of an organization that values supporting patients on beyond the biomedical factors affecting them. On a day to day basis, I...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health

CCPA Summer Series 2019: AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health

By Lillian Alonzo I currently work at the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health. I work within the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation (CQII) as a part of the Office of the Medical Director (OMD). Every day I work to help further end health disparities through the ECHO Collaborative, a HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program initiative focused on increasing viral suppression in four subpopulations identified as having the greatest disparities in viral suppression. These subpopulations are MSM of color, Youth, Black/African-American and Latino women, and Transgender people. The CQII’s role within the AIDS Institute is to help the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s structure and implement quality improvement projects. Such projects can include, but are not limited to, care continuity, addressing and combating stigma within partnered clinics, and helping set up diversity training for health providers and their staff. While working with CQII, I engage in projects aiming to improve the process and quality of care received by the before stated subpopulations around the country. Through regular meetings with health providers, quality improvement coaches, and people living with HIV (PLWH), I have been able to learn about the intersection of quality improvement, medical care, and technological innovation. The Collaborative will inform clinics around the nation, and possibly the globe, on how to utilize telecommunication for quality improvement in regards to healthcare. Some projects I am currently in charge of are drafting a manuscript about the Collaborative and its successes for future publishing, a Change Package consisting of all the initiatives enacted by community partners and health providers within the Collaborative, and a collection of best...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: ReachOut

CCPA Summer Series 2019: ReachOut

By Devi Namboodiri Hey! I am Devi Namboodiri, she/her/hers, and I am a rising junior. In this blog, I’ll go over my internship details and at the end, show in a video how to take some vital signs! This summer, I am very grateful for the sponsorship of the Jaharis Scholarship. Through this funding, I am working at a free clinic in Dayton, Ohio called ReachOut of Montgomery County.  ReachOut does vital work in the community: many people come in seeking more affordable health care which can be hard to find. I joined ReachOut because I wanted to become a part of the process to help people in need feel better. There are many nurses, doctors, pharmacists and training professionals who come volunteer their time for this same cause.    As a pre-med volunteer, I still get to do a lot in the clinic. Our shifts are generally 5 hours at a time, which are during the walk-in hours of the clinic. The first, longer part of the shift is my favorite: triaging. This is a process where the clinic assesses the relative urgencies of treatment for the patients that come for walk-in appointments. This is done differently if the patient is new or returning. For new patients and returning patients that have not come for about a year, the first step is taking the medical histories and records. This is to inform the clinic of any chronic diseases and current medication that might cause complications or cause worse symptoms if left untreated. Next, we evaluate the chief complaint: the reason or reasons for the visit. Next, some measures of a...