Health Policy

Lauren Ashley Umstattd, MD Lauren Ashley Umstattd, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

University of Missouri


Lauren Umstattd is an Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery resident at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. She was born and raised in the Midwest. She is a former Division I gymnast who competed for the University of Missouri as an undergraduate and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She continued her education at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, cooking, and traveling.




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.

A Modest Proposal: There is No Substitute for Time in Medicine

Physician burnout has emerged as an increasingly concerning phenomenon in medicine. As high as 51% of physicians in a Medscape survey report symptoms of burnout. Doctors face higher demands with less time and support. Academic medical centers, which historically have been insulated from outside forces, are now seeing larger patient censuses, leaving less time for physicians to work through each patient’s case carefully.

From Transphobia to Charlottesville: The Health Impact of the Tweeter-in-Chief

On July 26, President Donald Trump released another polemic tweet informing the public that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military,” citing the “tremendous medical costs” that transgender individuals pose to the health system.

A Day at 34 Haverhill Street Clinic: A Resident’s Education in Social Medicine at Community Health Centers

Ana sits on the exam table in front of me explaining how, in three short weeks, her mother will evict her from her childhood home. She is eight months pregnant and is studying night courses to become a paralegal. As her prenatal provider and primary care physician, I have been sending referrals to numerous community agencies in hopes of securing housing at the local YWCA.

Partnerships for Health: Leveraging and Centralizing Access to Community Health Centers

Health and wellness are more than a simple product of access and initiative, as such a simplified formula is only enjoyed by a very small minority. The equation becomes more complicated as new factors enter, such as unemployment or housing insecurity. Despite their importance as determinants of health, such elements are seldom addressed in the medical interaction between patient and physician, and are thus discarded in the interest of a perceived efficiency.

Reproductive Justice: Physician Voices Can Make a Difference

As I contemplate the future of our country, the future of medicine and the future of reproductive health and justice, I am truly frightened of what is to come. Since our president appears to base his desires on what makes him popular, I fear that he will gut Planned Parenthood, turn over Roe v Wade, and make it even more difficult for women to afford and access care, all in the name of ego.

Domestic Violence and the Physician’s Responsibility

Physicians must begin to view domestic violence as we do influenza or vehicle safety. We must prevent it at all costs. And if it is not prevented, we must aggressively treat it. This will require extensive collaboration with colleagues, public health services and law enforcement. Though the challenge is enormous, physicians ought to address this societal disease and be at the forefront of care.

Eric S. Donahue, M.D. (1 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.