Dr. Danielle Martin tells the story of her grandfather, Jacques Elie Shilton, a hard-working Egyptian immigrant who, months after arriving in Montreal with 10 family members, suffered a devastating heart attack.
Recent developments in the search for the children of residential schools have shown that there is much work to be done in terms of truth and reconciliation. Medical schools are similarly placing a higher emphasis on justice for indigenous communities. It's crucial that all applicants understand the Calls to Action, the disparities that indigenous communities face, and how to improve the healthcare system for indigenous peoples.
The Indigenous Health Calls to Action is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations for redressing the historical injustices faced by Indigenous communities in Canada. This initiative aims to improve the healthcare system for Indigenous peoples and address the disparities they face. As future physicians, pre-med students must understand the Calls to Action to better serve Indigenous communities.
The Calls to Action cover various aspects, including child welfare, education, language and culture, health, and justice. It seeks to address the historical context of residential schools and their legacy on Indigenous peoples. Some health-related recommendations include acknowledging the current state of Indigenous health, establishing measurable goals for closing gaps in health outcomes, and providing sustainable funding for healing centers.
For pre-med students, understanding the Calls to Action can help them prepare for a more inclusive and culturally-sensitive healthcare practice. Medical and nursing schools are encouraged to require courses that deal with Indigenous health issues, history, and the legacy of residential schools. Such training should include intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
By being aware of these Calls to Action, pre-med students can contribute to a more equitable healthcare system, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities. This knowledge will allow future physicians to provide better care to Indigenous patients, understand the historical context of their health disparities, and work collaboratively with Indigenous healers and Elders when appropriate. Overall, understanding the Indigenous Health Calls to Action is crucial for pre-med students to become well-rounded and compassionate physicians capable of serving diverse populations.
The Canadian government's report on reducing health inequalities addresses the disparities in health status among various population groups in Canada. These health inequalities result from a complex interplay of factors such as income, education, employment, and environmental conditions, collectively known as determinants of health. Premed students can benefit from understanding these disparities and their underlying causes to better prepare as future physicians.
By learning about health inequalities, premed students can develop a more comprehensive understanding of the social determinants of health and the ways they impact patient well-being. This knowledge will enable them to recognize and address the unique health needs of diverse patient populations, including low-income individuals, Aboriginal peoples, rural Canadians, immigrants, and vulnerable men and women.
Furthermore, understanding the factors contributing to health inequalities will help premed students develop cultural competence and empathy, allowing them to deliver more patient-centered care. They will be better equipped to identify barriers to healthcare access and work toward reducing health disparities in their future practice.
By integrating the insights from the report on reducing health inequalities into their education, premed students can become more well-rounded, compassionate physicians who are committed to promoting health equity and addressing the unique challenges faced by vulnerable populations in Canada.
"Great for understanding and learning about how patients will have different needs and how even if a treatment doesn’t make the most medical sense to a physician that it can actually be the best option based on what is important to the patient. " - Ben on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande's books, including Being Mortal (2014), The Checklist Manifesto (2009), Better (2007), and Complications (2002), offer valuable insights into various aspects of medical practice, helping premed students better prepare as future physicians. These books discuss challenges, limitations, and improvement areas in medicine, offering readers a deeper understanding of patient care, medical ethics, and healthcare systems.
Being Mortal focuses on the end-of-life care and the importance of maintaining patients' dignity, autonomy, and quality of life. This book can help premed students appreciate the significance of compassionate and person-centered care, enabling them to consider patients' individual needs and preferences when making medical decisions.
The Checklist Manifesto emphasizes the value of using checklists in healthcare to reduce errors, improve patient outcomes, and streamline complex processes. This book highlights the importance of organization, teamwork, and communication in medical practice, preparing premed students for the collaborative nature of their future careers.
Better discusses the pursuit of excellence in medicine, offering insights into the habits and practices of highly effective physicians. Through this book, premed students can develop a better understanding of medical professionalism and learn strategies to enhance their own performance.
Complications explores the uncertainties and complexities inherent in medical practice, examining how physicians make decisions, handle errors, and deal with unexpected outcomes. This book encourages premed students to acknowledge and confront these challenges, fostering a more resilient and adaptable mindset.
In summary, Atul Gawande's books provide premed students with valuable perspectives on various aspects of medicine, helping them develop a well-rounded understanding of the profession and preparing them to become empathetic, effective, and ethical physicians.