usf.edu 08 Apr, 2021 15:45 am

Events of 2020 Move Medical Students To Political Activism

Events of 2020 Move Medical Students To Political Activism
The emergence of organizations motivated by progressive concerns highlights the changing attitudes of some future physicians.

Sakinah, for instance, is part of a group of medical students who channeled these concerns into forming a nonpartisan student organization, Future Doctors in Politics.The organization, which launched in February, aims to educate medical students on the political process and show them how they can get involved in shaping policy, and perhaps even run for public office one day.The Changing Political Face of Medicine Over the years, medical students have turned to a variety of organizations as an outlet for their political and professional concerns.Other student groups advocate for single issues, such as Students for a National Health Program, which lobbies for a government-run single-payer system, and Medical Students for Choice, which promotes reproductive rights.

Medical students also engage in nonpolitical work that can be seen as advocacy, such as volunteering at free clinics where patients might be uninsured or have substance use disorders, said Jonathan Kusner, a fifth-year medical student at Harvard.Kusner helped lead a new nonpartisan AMSA effort in 2020, “MedOutTheVote,” which asked medical students and providers to register to vote and then volunteer to assist others in registering.

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