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Reducing the Disconnect: Medical Students’ Role in Aligning Health Care with 21st Century Values

Author:

Tara Suresh

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, US
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Abstract

Patient-centered care has been a focus of health care for decades but physicians’ consideration of patient perspective through trauma informed care started recently. Trauma is not just limited to physical and mental spheres but also social, cultural, racial, and economic realms of a patient’s life. Despite understanding the multifaceted aspect of trauma, physicians, when stressed, continue to prioritize their expertise and patient compliance over understanding the individual circumstance that led to a difference in patient values and priorities, focusing on the science over the art of medicine. This model leads to a lack of trust between the physician and patients and worse outcomes due to an incomplete understanding of the patients’ prior experiences. Medical students are now trained in their consideration of community and social and structural determinants of health, educated to recognize that the hospital care is only a small factor in a patient’s overall health. Medicine is on the brink of change, attempting to use feminist and narrative ethics rather than principlism to justify deviance from precedence. However, the speed of this transition depends on a conservative field’s ability to adjust, a somewhat paradoxical predicament. Medical students can play a major part in this transition, utilizing their novelty to the field to prevent experience’s penchant for uninhibited traditionalism. Promoting medical students to lead the charge in this transition upends the hierarchy of education, which may bruise egos of Attending Physicians who view their methods as the only way to achieve the best results given the reality of limited time for individual patient interactions. While daunting due to existing medical hierarchy, medical students need to push the profession to a new modus operandi, founded on the significant contribution of the entire patient’s experience to the issues at hand and the understanding of the patient’s journey within the health care system.

How to Cite: Suresh, T., 2021. Reducing the Disconnect: Medical Students’ Role in Aligning Health Care with 21st Century Values. ISMMS Journal of Science and Medicine, 1(1), p.12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.29024/ijsm.42
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  Published on 25 Jan 2021
 Accepted on 29 Dec 2020            Submitted on 29 Dec 2020

COMPETING INTERESTS

The author has no competing interests to declare.

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