Concentration: Advocacy and Activism
Project Mentor: Timothy Flanigan, MD
Graduation Year: MD 2011
Perceived healthcare needs in the community for incarcerated men in Rhode Island
My first year summer I worked on an IRB approved research project in perceived healthcare needs in the community for incarcerated men in RI, and I interviewed prison inmates about their perceived health care needs upon release and what they perceived to be barriers to meeting those needs, and I subsequently compiled the results, finding that these men often misperceived their need to be low and did not seek out long term PCP’s. I also worked on a documentary with a number of other medical students regarding common cultural barriers between doctors and patients for immigrant groups coming from Eastern Africa in RI. My Second year I worked on a project studying the national policies regarding mandatory and voluntary testing of HIV in various sub-Saharan countries, finding that while some countries had been moving toward provided initiated testing or opt-out testing in an effort to decrease stigma, there were still a large number of countries with unclear testing policies or policies that merely encouraged patient initiated testing. I presented this work in a poster presentation at the Brown University Public Health research day. I also presented my work on incarcerated men at the National PHR student conference in a poster presentation. My third year, during the community health clerkship, I worked on a project investigating the the perceived risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men who are both HIV negative and HIV positive in Boston and Providence. I interviewed a support group, outreach workers in Boston as well as their community clients, and I interviewed clients of a bathhouse in Providence as part of HIV testing. I found that many men maintained beliefs that their own risk level was low despite engaging in risky behavior, and that these men often believed that their knowledge of HIV was high, when in fact they believed some ideas which were not scientifically valid. I presented these results in a poster presentation at the PsychSIGN national conference, where I was awarded best poster presentation, and I also received the Carpenter Award from Brown for funding to travel to this conference. I also completed a paper regarding my work on Incarcerated men and submitted the manuscript to the Journal Of Correctional Health Care for publication. Finally, during my surgical clerkship, as part of a writing class, I worked on a documentary regarding medical students and some of the struggles they faced in medical school in balancing their personal life and their professional life.
Short opinion piece in the Providence Journal on psychiatry in the media and public perception
Letter published by the Annals of Internal Medicine on medical students and the choice to enter primary care