Health Policy

Eric S. Donahue, MD (2 Posts)

Resident Editor

University of Washington School of Medicine


Eric is a graduate of the University of Washington and a resident at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Eric is also an editor for in-House.




A Primer on Loan Repayment and Finance Options for Residents & Fellows

Career and specialty choice aside, the debt accrued for physicians is very real. Obtaining accessible and accurate advice on what to do with that debt is, at best, disappointing. My goal for this article is to educate, provide adequate resources that can help alleviate stress, set you — the reader and colleague — up to be financially successful, and hopefully make you “money wise” when it comes to your early career.

Resident Wellness is a Lie (Part 2 of 3)

My partner Evan’s third year of residency completed his trajectory toward what is commonly called “burnout.” Two out of the 10 residents in his class left the program. In an already understaffed department, the remaining residents picked up the slack, taking extra call and working longer days. The general misery index among his cohort skyrocketed.

A Call to My Fellow Residents in the Era of the Opioid Epidemic

I met Julian six months ago. He was the first patient I watched go through a buprenorphine/naloxone induction. My preceptor carefully guided him through a series of deeply personal questions: How old were you when you first started using? What is your drug of choice? Have you ever injected? How much? Have you ever traded sex for drugs? When did you last use?

Reproductive Rights of Incarcerated Women

The recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court raises concern about the future of reproductive health, particularly access to abortion and affordable contraception. Although his impact on reproductive rights is to be determined, those who will be disproportionately impacted by further compromise of reproductive rights will always be the most vulnerable women among us. This includes the uninsured, poor, and incarcerated.

Ugly

The baby’s hat is bright orange, knit with vertical ribbing to mimic a pumpkin’s ridges, and topped with a tiny green stem. The cheeks below it bulge in perfect crescents. I turn to the mother to ask if she made the hat herself. Her eyes don’t leave the muted cartoons bouncing across the television screen as she mumbles, “The nurse or someone gave it to her.”

Dear NBME and FSMB, I watch HGTV more than Netflix: A Response to the Invited Commentary on USMLE Step 1

The recent ruminations of Drs. Katsufrakis and Chaudhry in the form of an invited commentary in Academic Medicine, entitled “Improving Residency Selection Requires Close Study and Better Understanding of Stakeholder Needs,” has garnered a significant amount of attention on Twitter. Drs. Katsufrakis and Chaudhry’s commentary was in response to a well-written and well-reasoned article by a group of medical students published in the same journal recommending the USMLE Step 1 transition from a numeric score to pass/fail.

How Physicians Can Fight Mass Incarceration: Focusing On The Youth

A quiet, frail, emaciated gentleman in his 60s who was dying of cancer. What made him different was that he was shackled to the bed, one arm and one leg bound to the bed of a barren room, lit only by the pale blue light from the window that cast the silhouette of bars on the floor. This was the prison unit.

We’re Ignoring a Key Factor in the Opioid Epidemic

In order for the country to make meaningful progress in tackling the opioid epidemic, we need a cultural shift in the way patients and providers think about pain.

Pharmaceutical companies and physicians are being demonized for their manufacturing and dispensing of opioid analgesics. Money-hungry executives from Big Pharma caused the crisis by brainwashing doctors to prescribe these medications left and right. Greedy doctors want patients dependent upon them for years, ensuring a steady stream of paying patients in their waiting room. Drugs drive the market. Drugs lead to big profits for everyone involved. The more drugs, the better.

Melissa Palma, MD Melissa Palma, MD (4 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Melissa Palma is an aesculapian advocate who trained in family medicine at a Latino-serving community health center. Her writing reflects on the privileges and responsibilities we have as physicians to advance health equity for our patients and our communities. When not in the hospital, you can find her studying or reading non-fiction while nursing a taro boba tea.