Although I come from a family of artists, I have little artistic talent. As I grew up, I found myself drawn to areas of expertise that I considered technical–in which there was a clear right and wrong. I guess I was a rebel. In high school, I became increasingly interested in medicine: I saw it as a wonderfully tangible application of scientific knowledge, a means of reducing human suffering. I set out to see what working in healthcare might be like. I found work in a private practice as an after-school job and spent a summer interning in a primary care medical clinic at San Francisco General.
In both of these experiences, I noticed the impact of non-scientific factors on the delivery of care. For example, at the private practice, the economic forces were clear: only patients with private insurance were accepted and I was instructed to book two patients… Continue reading