Diversity & Community Partnerships

Inaugural Class - Fall 2007

Read about the Inaugural PRIME-HEq Class (Fall 2007) below.

Anshu AbhatA. Abhat

   (Under Construction)

Isa Barth-RogersI. Barth-Rogers

   (Under Construction)

James SargentJ. Sargent

Undergrad Institution: Whitman College (2002)

Undergrad Major: Music Theory/Composition

Previous work experience: I spent a few summers working as a high school special education teacher's aid while in college. I also spent one year working as a program aid at the Kennedy-Kreiger Institute High School for young adults with developmental abilities.

  • I chose to go to UCSD because I was interested in PRIME-HEq and because I wanted to be a part of the Free Clinic. I want to practice medicine to the best of my abilities, and, in order to do that, I believe that I have to an understanding of and fluency with the culture and the community that my patients are a part of. I feel it is my responsibility to work with underserved communities, and that this as much art as it is skill. In the PRIME-HEq program I saw an opportunity to develop the tools that I will need in order to study/understand the community I serve. Also, understanding that I cannot possibly do everything, I saw a chance to learn how to advocate for my community as well as how to partner with pre-existing community resources.
  • While shadowing a Hospice home care physician I was appalled by the conditions at one of the skilled nursing facilities that we visited. The facility was a converted house, but it had none of the essence of a home. There were too many residents, too little interaction, too little staff, residents shared bedrooms with little expectation of privacy, and the staffing/facility were poorly matched to the residents' level of functioning. It took us a half hour to calm our patient down and to explain to him why he was not at home any more and why he had a bar-restraint on his bed. It broke my heart.

    After this interaction I had to find out how common these types of facilities were. Who regulates them? Who set those standards? How are they enforced? How many people live in skilled nursing facilities? What is the spectrum in terms of the level of care that is provided? What is the cause for that difference? If it's money, what do you have to spend it on in order to make a terrible home a good home? Is there even such a thing as a good skilled nursing home? And a dozen others.

    Seriously. So many questions.
    I have a strong interest in geriatric medicine, and this project was a perfect chance to begin to understand some of the issues that impact that population. Many of the questions - faced by patients, caregivers,corporations, and lawmakers regarding the quality and financing of care- have no perfect solution, and I appreciate that. My participation in the PRIME-HEq program is evidence that I am still optimistic enough that I can advocate for my patients and be a constructive part of that imperfect process.
  • I am one of the student managers of the Student-Run Free Clinic in Pacific Beach. Our patient base is predominantly homeless, and I have so far very much enjoyed interacting with the community and learning what their specific needs are. As a part of our clinic we also have a "Street Rounds" where we go out into the community with our community partners and provide simple health care and referrals to people who are on the street and have an immediate need. It is very interesting, and now seems essential, to see our patients in their element. How can you complain when a patient misses their appointment when you realize that they have to walk the distance; both at 5pm and then afterwards at 10pm?
  • Without a doubt. Right now I am just trying to get the tools I need. As for the community that I serve (elderly or homeless); that is developing overtime. What keeps me up nights is the fear that I will have the desire to be a larger part of the health care for the community that I serve, but I will lack the resources and the contacts to do so. To fail to be a part of the solution, not because of a lack of will, but because ignorance as to the means: that's the tragedy.



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