Medical Students Meet the Healthcare System

In the midst of the nation's current healthcare reform controversy, third-year Tulane University medical students are completing their clerkships in both rural and urban areas, and, increasingly, in community settings. In this video, the students talk about healthcare reform and their family medicine clerkship experiences in southern Louisiana, community-based primary care practices.

Students participating in family medicine clerkships gather to share their experiences in the field in this video produced by
Alicia Duplessis Jasmin.

A recent U.S. House of Representatives vote of 220 to 215 approved a version of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform plan, which would provide coverage to most American citizens who don't have it. The plan calls for spending of about $1 trillion over 10 years, and Americans are polarized over whether the country can afford it.

The medical students are getting a first-hand view of both the challenges and potential in the current medical system.

"Our students are used to being mostly in the hospital setting here in New Orleans, and it's sometimes quite a cultural difference to get out into the community," says Dr. Pamela Wiseman, associate professor of family and community medicine and clerkship director at the medical school. "They are seeing the good work of dedicated physicians along with the frustrations and limitations of the current medical system."

Wiseman's goal is that students understand the limitations of the medical system as a whole, and how expanded primary care, in particular, has a vital role in improving our healthcare system's performance.