Week 11- Social Determinants of Health

Week 11- Social Determinants of Health

Growing up as a kid from a middle class family in the city of Ann Arbor, I really didn’t understand the privileged nature 0f my upbringing. With my mom having health insurance through working at the university, healthcare was always readily available to me growing up. My identity of being relatively privileged in my childhood had a positive impact on on my health in the sense that attaining healthcare was never really an issue for me. I can’t really think of any negative impact my identities have had on me, but I have experienced negative impacts by identity through experiences in healthcare with my parents.

My personal identities have had mainly positive impacts on my health, but the same can not be said for my parents. As they are first generation immigrants and are not fluent in English, It is difficult for them to communicate with healthcare providers at times. The availability of translators does help, but there still seems to be a gap in their communication and connection with their physicians. My hope is that one day to aid in bridging this gap between physician and patients from different cultures/ languages. With my identity of being bilingual, and my first hand experiences dealing with the inequities of the healthcare system when it comes to serving minority patients, I hope to have a positive impact on healthcare for such groups.

Now I ask you, what impacts have any of your identities had on your health? What would you change about the healthcare system today to remedy the inequities in healthcare?


4 thoughts on “Week 11- Social Determinants of Health

  1. I think the biggest impact that my identity as Native American has had on my health has been the fact that it is free for me and my family to go to and Indian Health Services clinic as opposed to the local hospital. When I was a freshman in high school I had two of my wisdom teeth removed and was expecting to be put under and was excited to have my parents record my reaction waking up, but because of the reduced costs of services, I was simply given a shot in my gums and my teeth extracted and the entire procedure took about 10 minutes. Although I have gotten free health care throughout my life, I really don’t think it has been the best health care and I do feel a little under privileged when it comes to the health care I’ve gotten. I

  2. As a Muslim women it’s hard sometimes to be seen at the doctor’s office because you may need a women doctor for certain needs, but the request cannot be met. This in return causes you to wait weeks or even moths for the next available doctor. Also, doctors should be more educated on different cultures and religions to be more knowledgeable. This will prevent stereotype thinking. A few times at the doctors office my hijab has been referred to as a “thing” and the doctor “felt hot just looking at me.” I think here it is a matter of respecting your patients and being culturally sensitive. This impacts my health because once I left the clinic I never came back. As a patient, I want to go somewhere that I am respected and where I feel comfortable. In healthcare I believe that doctors, nurses, practitioners should be educated on religion, cultures, race and how to approach someone that may look or be different from you. The patient already feels ill coming in, you don’t want them leaving ill and insulted.

  3. I have been extremely blessed when it comes to healthcare access and getting the care I need. My dad works for the state of Michigan so he has very good health insurance. I was always able to go the doctor if I felt sick, or just for a yearly check-in. I never realized growing up how lucky and rare this was. For me, my identities have not had a negative impact on my health, or healthcare acres and for that I am extremely grateful.
    In order to combat the inequalities in healthcare more resources need to be put in low income areas. Preventive services also need to become more wide spread in low income areas. Physicians and all healthcare providers should also have more training in different socioeconomic settings.

  4. As a first-gen, African-American student, my family doesn’t have much knowledge about staying healthy. All they know are the family recipes of soul food, high in fat, carbs, sugar, sodium, and everything fried. And if we couldn’t afford to cook, we ate what we could afford, fast food. Because of my mom’s job at a health care insurance provider and before that as a MA, we always had healthcare insurance. However, some of my family don’t and they sometimes can’t afford to have needed surgeries. Finally, because of where I live, we don’t have access to the best health care facilities. My uncle had MS and lived in nursing homes, but the multiple nursing home we looked at were in terrible condition. The one he lived in wasn’t the best either, but it was definitely better than others.

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