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Beyond the Stethoscope: Being Reminded of the Broad World of Healthcare


Medical school is a time when many enthusiastic and intellectually curious students are forced to stifle their interests and passions in anything not directly related to anatomy and pathophysiology for the sake of becoming competent and knowledgeable physicians. The rigors and demands of the medical school curriculum and the seemingly endless volumes of information that must be understood and integrated into an arsenal of basic science and clinical knowledge render it difficult for any student to think outside the textbook. However, deep inside we all know that to be good physicians, we cannot suppress our appetite for advocacy, social justice, and humanism, which drove us to pursue careers in medicine in the first place. It is organizations like MS4C that reach out to medical students and remind them of the broad world of healthcare beyond the cadaver or the stethoscope. Medicine doesn’t exist in a vacuum and must therefore be learned and experienced in the context of the many social, political, economic, and cultural issues it involves. ┬áMS4C provides a platform for medical students passionate about women’s equality in healthcare and reproductive rights to engage with other likeminded students and to try to educate their less-aware classmates. It reminds them that to be good doctors, we can’t just study medicine from PowerPoint slides, but we need to learn to advocate for our patients and for healthcare justice.

adina blog1

Both as a medical student and as a woman who is a consumer of healthcare in the US, I am constantly frustrated by political infringements on women’s reproductive health. MS4C has given me the opportunities to complement my medical education and interest in women’s health by learning about reproductive rights and to mobilize as a medical student and an advocate for reproductive justice and choice. Being part of MS4C has also reminded me that there is a vast network of other medical students and physicians who share my ideals and empowers me to serve as an activist for reproductive rights.

adina blog2 Adina, Northwestern

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"This is such a unique opportunity to gain clinical exposure in a classically underrepresented area of medical school curricula, and I am certain that I would not have received such a robust abortion education in medical school without the RHE."

Reproductive Health Externship Participant

"I left the ATI with a strengthened resolve to get abortion training during residency in order to provide them as a PCP, and now am looking ONLY at residency programs that will allow me to get training. Moreover, talking with residents and providers left me with concrete knowledge of how to find training experiences."

Abortion Training Institute Participant