Rajkumar S. Pammal
2020 has been marked by simultaneous watershed moments: the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest related to anti-black racism, and historic participation in this year’s U.S. Presidential Election. Conversations on healthcare, policy, and fundamental human rights have been central to these topics. Clearly, the medical field does not exist in a vacuum, and it is crucial for today’s physicians to understand the social, economic, and political factors that influence the health of their patients and their ability to care for them. The Roundtable Journal on Health Policy (RJHP) aims to provide medical students with a platform to engage with such themes.
Enclosed, you will find a series of articles on a wide range of topics, from telemedicine and vaccination efforts with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the importance of implicit bias training in medical education. Each article delves into the complexities of distinct yet inherently related topics, connected by a drive to enable better health outcomes on individual and societal levels. The evolving nature of the medical field and health care industry requires interdisciplinary examination, which I believe is evident in this edition of RJHP.
It is my hope that these articles are not only informative, but more importantly serve as a starting point for subsequent discussion on these topics and issues. By grappling with the intricacies of such broad societal issues, we may arrive at a more nuanced understanding that can guide future next steps and action items. The medical field has an obligation to advocate for the best interests and health of its patients, and medical students, physicians, and interested parties wield immense power in being able to influence policy. To that end, please share these articles widely with your colleagues, friends, and family, so that these conversations may ensue.
On behalf of my fellow editors and classmates who contributed to this edition of RJHP, I hope you enjoy reading.
Rajkumar S. Pammal