In 2020, Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys was proud to announce the start of our annual academic scholarship. The goal of our scholarship is to help first-year students obtain the education they need to succeed and make a difference in our world.
The Fall 2021 submission period has recently come to a close. We’re happy to say we have chosen a winner:
Congratulations to Neha George of Illinois!
Neha is starting her first year in the BA/MD Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This year’s essay topic was the following:
What are some of the most important issues in your field of study? Which would you like to help tackle and why?
Here is Neha’s winning essay:
“During a first aid training class, I was taught to look for signs such as bluish or reddened skin to determine whether someone was injured or in a life-threatening situation. At first, this seemed straightforward – the textbook had many photos to help visualize these symptoms on light skin. But when put in practice, I realized a flaw in this teaching. My skin, along with the skin of other Brown and Black people, doesn’t turn red or blue when we are injured because it is masked by the melanin in our skin. In an emergency, this could result in a misdiagnosis and harm patients of color, all because of a lack of inclusive education.
Racial disparities in medicine have been long rooted within the American healthcare system. Textbooks used by healthcare students will often only show examples of diseases on light skin, which can cause providers to ignore symptoms until a condition has progressed to a more difficult and deadlier stage. Many common diagnostic tests are analyzed differently based on the patient’s race, adjusting values so that results that would be abnormal in a white patient would be considered normal in a Black patient. Divides like these should not exist in a field aimed at providing care for everyone, and I hope to help change these standards so that future generations have access to better medical care.
During my time in the BA/MD Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I hope to serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to promote strong connections and celebrate diversity on campus and in the surrounding areas. I know that my peers and teachers have unique values and backgrounds that I can learn from, and I believe that understanding new perspectives will allow me to be a better doctor. Progress begins with education, and I will advocate for a medical education that addresses existing biases and prepares future medical students to treat patients with different backgrounds and cultures. From teaching students how diseases present differently on darker skin to tackling more deep-rooted biases in healthcare, I hope that I can play a part in giving future generations a well-rounded medical education.
As a future medical professional, I will use my education to break healthcare barriers and provide all my patients with good and equal treatment. By adapting my care to fit the needs of each individual, I hope to form strong bonds with my patients that will hopefully inspire others to do the same. To combat my own ignorance, I have and will continue to educate myself on racial disparities present in healthcare and society as a whole. By constantly working to break the implicit biases that exist within me, I can help improve medicine. Although my actions alone will not fix the large issues at hand, I know that my efforts and the efforts put forth by other healthcare workers will help propel widespread change.
Medicine has been around for thousands of years, and it will take time for these changes to occur. However, I refuse to remain complicit in a field that has failed to appropriately care for all people. As a future physician, I promise to continue learning and taking action to ensure racial equality so that all my patients get the treatment that they deserve
Congratulations again, Neha!