Doctors Within Borders By David A. Ansell

778 Words 4 Pages
Doctors within Borders: the Politics of Health County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago 's Public Hospital, written by David A. Ansell, follows the life of the doctor throughout his residency at Cook County Hospital and his personal encounters with health inequalities. Reading the first fourteen chapters, I got a glimpse into my career path as an aspiring urban doctor (urban as in both: a person of color and a focus on highly populated, under-represented areas). The path of concentrating on the less fortunate is not an easy one, but it is necessary to advance the medical field and trust in doctors. Dr. Ansell presents three major themes: inequities in care, politics as it relates to the healthcare system, and the role of health professionals …show more content…
Patient dumping” was mentioned in the book as a method of transferring very ill and often uninsured patients to public hospitals. The problem with these transfers is that the original hospitals were fully capable to accommodate these patients. Ansell showed that unnecessary deaths and complications were occurring due to this phenomenon. “Patients were transferred on ventilators, with gunshot wounds, in active labor” (Ansell 114). These conditions are unacceptable today; however, this was not too long ago. Within such a short time change can happen, but it was structural problems that allowed it to transpire in the first place. County Cook Hospital was also in the midst of a very racially sensitive, politically war torn time (which sadly sounds like most time periods). The patients were, unfortunately, the “other” in the sense that County was their only option. Undoubtedly, more is in play when it comes to “patient care” besides the actual patient. Politics plays a crucial role in the implementation of such …show more content…
In the mayoral election of Jane Byrne, I saw the hospital as merely an image boost for the candidate. She was there in support of the reopening of Paulina street (a crucial road for transport to County) during the race; nevertheless, when she eventually became mayor and the street remained closed. Additionally, County had internal struggles between funders and employment. Everything was an uphill battle. Why was that the case? I agree with Ansell with the notion that the vulnerable often do not have a voice and to a much lesser extent do not have power. There is essentially a constant need for a liaison between the poor and those in power. Luckily with social media now everyone is given a greater opportunity to have a voice; however, that may not always translate to political reform. Dr. Ansell introduced a life where it seems as if he was in continuous protest, though there is no doubt of his work, two questions come to mind: what is the role of a health professional in this case and would the effect be as strong if Dr. Ansell was not

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