Melissa Herrin, MD (1 Posts)
“Resident Physician Contributing Writer
University of Washington Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Melissa Herrin is Chief Resident at the University of Washington Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program, from which she is planning to graduate June 2023. She received her MD from Yale University School of Medicine, prior to which she worked in environmental consulting. With her training in OEM, she hopes to gain experience in clinical occupational medicine and to advance public health and environmental policies to reduce the health effects of pollution and climate change, especially in at-risk worker populations. She lives in Seattle with her husband and 17-year-old son and enjoys running, hiking, baseball and hanging out with their two cats.
“A lot of the men in my unit started getting sick and never got better. And we just didn’t know. I mean, all I want is to help build a group big enough that we might finally understand more about what’s happening to us.” The Veteran’s words were measured and resolute. I had just finished introducing myself and inquired how he had learned about the Burn Pit and Gulf War Registries. During this phone call, …
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.
Over the last year, our collective minds have been captivated by stories about child and family separation, detainment of citizens and immigrants, and the quality of the health care within detention facilities. These stories have been jarring and traumatic, and have also awoken an important level of national consciousness about the nature of detention. What has not received as much coverage in recent discourse is the ongoing nature of solitary confinement in our justice system.
The patient who said I was a “round-eye” and thus not a slant-eye / The patient who said in the elevator that he knows Chinese: “ching, chang, chong”
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.
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.”
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.
Saba Malik, MD, MPH (5 Posts)
Resident Physician Contributing Writer
Harbor UCLA Medical Center
Saba Malik, MD, MPH is a 3rd year family medicine resident at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She earned her MD with a distinction in advocacy from Albany Medical College in 2018, prior to which she had completed a masters in public health with a concentration in community health sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She has an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience also from UCLA. She is passionate about health disparities, health justice, holistic and integrative medicine, LGBTQ issues, and improving the health and well being of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.