Alicia Fernandez, MD senior author on an article just published in Academic Medicine

CVP Core Faculty, Alicia Fernandez, MD, was senior author on an article just published (1/8) in Academic Medicine "Medical Student Perceptions of Health Care Disparities" (AcadMed-D-18-00247R2). Here is the link to the article:


What makes this study interesting to the general public?

Medical students occupy a unique position on medical teams, and their observations may help to elucidate the frequency and nature of health care disparities. An understanding of their experiences may also help clarify how provider-driven disparities are perpetuated across generations of physicians.


What is the biggest takeaway? 

Students routinely witnessed health care disparities during clinical clerkships. The most common instances of disparities involved patients with language barriers, followed by homeless patients, patients with a history of substance abuse, obese patients, and racial/ethnic minority patients.  Students described multiple barriers and a few facilitators to taking action in response to perceived disparities, and the often deleterious impact of witnessing health inequity on their own professional development.


Was there any unusual or surprising finding?

While some students reported becoming increasingly jaded and normalizing health care disparities as stemming from constraints of time and resources, others described the impact of witnessing these incidents as reinforcing their commitment to providing equitable and excellent care to all.