Sabrina Silva-McKenzie, a fourth-year medical student at UC Davis, grew up in Stockton. She will be applying to family medicine residency programs this fall to complete her training and become a practicing physician, and she wants to stay in Northern California, possibly returning home. At an early age, her parents ingrained into her the stewardship of community engagement and service. They operated a pharmacy, and she accompanied them on home deliveries. Customers became friends and the family business became a public trust. When she begins to practice medicine, Sabrina wants to carry on that tradition.
A doctor contemplates his role in helping to implement health reform and decides that his connection to the community will be as important as his knowledge of medicine.
In the class I teach on chronic illness for UC Davis medical students, I am trying to get my students to see illness in a new way. I want them to be more pro-active rather than simply re-active, to anticipate their patients’ diseases and conditions, and to help their patients stay healthy, rather than treating them only when they are sick. I believe this is not only the right thing to do. It may also be the only way our family medicine physicians will be able to cope with the rising pressures coming with an aging population and an expanded workload brought about by the recently passed federal health reform, which will broaden access to health care for millions who have not had it.