Opinions

David Chiang, MD, PhD David Chiang, MD, PhD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

University of Massachusetts Medical School


David Chiang is a resident physician in Med-Peds. He is an aspiring physician-scientist in immunology and immune regulation with a clinical focus on inflammatory bowel diseases. When not in the hospital, he dabbles in mixology and takes long walks with his dog, Lobo. He is a Ravenclaw.




Medicine-Pediatrics Residents Call for Anti-Racism in Health Care

Recent events have highlighted a systemic problem within our world, our country, our state, and our community. People of color fight an uphill battle in every facet of life, at every socioeconomic level. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception — as we all know by now, patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately afflicted. But the spotlight has refocused on a chronic pandemic: systemic racism.

Bosses of Us: Doctors, Administrators, and the Profit Motive

The pandemic points to an important lesson: a rejection of traditional leadership structures, at least those that feed into a profit-based medical system, may be necessary in order to create a different world. The union provides such a framework, vesting power in a collective of voices. But in order to succeed at the level of a union, physicians need to let their voices join that collective — they cannot expect a delegate or representative alone to do the entire job, just as we might expect a program director to guide us in the right direction.

Can Disease Be Tragically Beautiful? A Resident Physician Reflects on COVID-19

Has social distancing paradoxically made us closer? Can disease be tragically beautiful? I pondered these questions as I reminisced over the past few weeks working on one of the medicine floors in my hospital, grappling with these thoughts almost every moment as I have witnessed the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can Empathy Be Taught, or Is It Innate?

In medical school, I was taught to sit at eye level when speaking to patients, ask how they would prefer to be addressed, and ask open-ended questions to allow them to express themselves. I learned to interject with “That must be really difficult for you,” or “I can only imagine how that makes you feel,” as a way to show empathy and foster better connection with patients.

Tears for the Warriors Without Armor in the Fight Against COVID-19

It is difficult to put into words the level of frustration and despair that I have felt over the last few days watching the schizophrenic national response to this COVID-19 crisis and its detrimental effects on the work conditions of my colleagues. As an internal medicine physician working in Utah, it feels like it is the calm before the storm as emergency room and urgent care volumes are down as people try to socially distance to correct the spread of this virus. Other areas of the country are not so lucky.

Facing the Inevitable: A Resident Physician’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

As I check in on my patients each morning, I wonder if some will unexpectedly decompensate and die over the coming weeks. I think about myself and my co-residents who are in the hospital all day swabbing patients for COVID-19 without adequate personal protective equipment. Many of my co-residents are on home isolation as a result of this exposure, waiting for their test results and praying that our government will step up and fund more mask production, or civilians will return the N95s they’ve hoarded, or the set of a TV medical drama will donate their props to us.

Vanessa Van Doren, MD Vanessa Van Doren, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Emory University School of Medicine


Vanessa Van Doren is a PGY-2 in the Emory University School of Medicine’s J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine Residency program and a current participant in the Health, Equity, Advocacy, and Policy Track. She is a past national board member of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) and past Health Policy Committee Leader of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter. She co-founded the Health Advocacy Leadership Organization, a longitudinal 4-year health policy and advocacy elective at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Van Doren's career plans are focused on ways to integrate research, clinical medicine, and advocacy to help build a truly equitable health care system.