The Politics of Healthcare from the Front Lines

What You Need to Know About Covid-19

To be honest, our lives will not be saved by the government. And lives will not be saved by elected officials or large institutions. Lives will not be saved by a miracle vaccine this year either. Lives will be saved by everyday decisions made by responsible citizens in Washington State and the rest of the nation.

2020-05-23T22:53:36+00:00March 12, 2020|Categories: Patient, Physician, Practice|Tags: , , , |

When Even a Surgeon is Slighted

Why do real-life images of camouflage-clad women soldiers or female surgeons wearing scrubs make us more uncomfortable than the highly sexualized images of fictional women warriors, like Wonder Woman? Are many of us more nervous boarding a plane that will be piloted by a woman than a man? And why hasn’t a woman been elected to the highest office of the land? Does society believe female physicians are less qualified than male physicians?

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte: A Doctor Who Thrived Against Inequality

La Flesche’s motivation to pursue medicine came from a haunting experience she had as a child, watching an elderly woman die in agony awaiting the arrival of a local doctor. Despite being summoned four times, he never came. In her opinion, the doctor’s absence made one thing painfully clear: It was only an Indian. She wrote years later, “It has always been a desire of mine to study medicine ever since I was a small girl.”

Striking Nurses Should Be Supported

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that.” Yes. Let’s keep our attention on the members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and especially the nurses who are fighting for our very lives.

2020-05-23T22:52:02+00:00January 24, 2020|Categories: Patient, Policy|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Privilege of Knowing Piper

Piper was the first and the only patient in nearly 20 years of practice for whom I have signed the birth certificate and the death certificate. 100 years ago, country doctors did that sort of thing frequently, but today, it is rare. It remains one of the hardest things I have ever done as a physician.

When Lawmakers Try to Play Doctor

An ectopic pregnancy cannot be relocated like a potted plant. Lawmakers got the hairbrained idea from a century-old case report published in the journal Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, by C.J. Wallace. The author claimed to have successfully transplanted an ectopic pregnancy from a woman’s fallopian tube to her uterus in 1917.

2020-05-15T00:45:26+00:00January 1, 2020|Categories: Equality, Policy|Tags: , , , |

The Understated Impact of a Public Health Officer

I have had the honor and privilege of collaborating with three Kitsap Health Officers, including Dr. Willa Fisher, Dr. Scott Lindquist, and Dr. Susan Turner. After becoming a practicing physician, my reverence for the public health system has continually grown. I literally cannot do my job without the support of the dedicated employees working there.

2020-05-15T00:42:58+00:00December 31, 2019|Categories: Physician, Policy|Tags: , , , |

Consenting to Learn Publicly

Battling organized racism has never been about a single person or one moment in time—it is about exploring deeply ingrained beliefs each of us hold about those individuals who we see as different from ourselves. Outcome disparities due to race are not limited to the healthcare arena; they affect our education system, justice system, law enforcement, social media and everyday life.

A Second Opinion When Doctors Accuse Parents of Child Abuse

In this case, CPS called upon child abuse pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Woods, a new director at the Child Abuse Intervention program at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. Although she told me on the phone she had “14 years of child abuse experience,” in actual fact, Dr. Woods resume tells a different story. She completed only a residency in general pediatrics in 2010 and has not completed a child abuse fellowship.