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Cesar Chavez, an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activists, once opined, “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect of other cultures.” With an underlying theme of Christmas and the winter holidays, this Saturday Academy focused on culture and diversity. Beginning with a potluck, the Saturday Academy delved straight into the culture of the UPP fellows. Each fellow prepared and brought their favorite holiday dish; the dishes ranged from lasagna to brownies, embodying the culture of the hands that made it. Never before have I had spaghetti for breakfast! After the potluck, the UPP cohort watched three films: the first on disabilities, the second on lesbian/gay/transgender/bisexual/intersexual relationships, and the third on the Muslim religion. By defining key terms, such as gender, sexuality, able bodied, and religion, the UPP cohort was able to discuss each film in great detail. The first film was reminiscent of my summer internship at Assistive Technology Partners, depicting various disabilities, the biases and misconceptions associated with a disability, and how to best communicate/interact with a disabled person. The second film was both informational and intriguing as it explained what it means to be gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual/intersexual as well as the many connotations that accompany the lifestyle of a gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual/intersexual individual. Ranging from the role of women to the many conduits of the religion, the third film was very educational, informing the viewer of the many facets and conduits of the Muslim religion. After the discussion of each of the films, it became clear that diversity and culture must be embraced, and anything that threatens its existence be destroyed. Closing with the spirit of Christmas and the holidays, the Saturday Academy included a Secret Santa gift exchange. The gifts included: records, singing ties, Legos®, batman underwear, Starbucks® mugs, and much, much more. In retrospect, this Saturday Academy was both informational and intriguing, and I look forward to the January Saturday Academy.
Holiday Pot Luck
Watched a Kaiser Permanente documentary “Spirit is Able”
Watched a Kaiser Permanente documentary “Out”
Watched a Kaiser Permanente documentary “Children of Adam”
Spirit is Able: I was able to relate a lot to this video because I had the opportunity to work with disabled people, both providers and patients, during my internship this summer. One thing that we talked about as a cohort is that they should not be seen as different people. I, for one, am in full support of this statement. The fact of the matter is that everyone is disabled in one way or another. Perhaps we all aren’t mentally of physically disabled, but we most certainly aren’t perfect either. Essentially, we all have flaws, and it is important that we work together to bring out each other’s strengths. In fact, I worked with one of the people in the video. She is completely blind, but quite honestly, that is not what stands out about her. When I think of her, I think she is one of the nicest people I know, and she has actually received the employee of the month award before. Overall, as a healthcare professional, it is important that we are aware of different disabilities, and to compensate for their needs accordingly. And if you are not sure what the patient is going through, just ask.
Out: This video really enlightened me on the LGBTI community. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what the “T” and “I” stood for. Now I know that it means transgender and intersex, and I understand what they are. A debate we had as a group was about forcing our youth into different genders, and if that is permissible. Our role as a healthcare professional, as always, is to promote the best interest of our patients. Although we have no concrete way of knowing what will be best for a given patient because we can’t tell the future, we can make judgements based on what we know about the struggles that the LGBTI community deals with today. Ultimately, my role as a healthcare professional would be to act in the best interest of the patient, and the best way to do that is to be informative of the different consequences and statistics, and to let the patient or the patient’s family be the judge of what choice is to be made.
Children of Adam: Again, like we have continually discussed throughout this program, this video was about health disparities. Particularly, it was focussed on the middle eastern population. A common problem that seems to come up when we talk about health disparities is based on religious beliefs. Someone in the video mentioned that there are certain groups of middle eastern people that will refuse to take medication. When I shared this with the group, I was informed that they were talking about Ramadan, where you can not inject anything until the sun goes down. However, I distinctly remember someone in the video saying that their grandfather would not take the medication for his sickness because he believes everything happens for a reason. I remember when we talked about this problem when we were discussing “Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.” If there is a non-compliant patient, and their non-compliance is because of their beliefs, there is not much one can do as a healthcare provider. Medhat went on to explain that when one has a non-compliant patient, it is the healthcare providers duty to inform the patient as much as possible, but from there, there is not much else you can do. Even if you explain the situation exactly as it is, and you think that it is what’s best for the patient, ultimately, it is still their decision, and you can’t force patients to do anything. I recall in the book that too much imposing on a patient’s life can actually be harmful, so it is about finding the right balance between performing your duty as a provider, and being culturally competent.
Different cultures were brought together and holiday traditions were shared during this month's Saturday Academy. The apparel theme was ugly sweaters. Looking at everyone's ridiculous holiday sweaters provided for a lot of laughs. Everyone contributed to the potluck by bringing in one of their favorite holiday traditional dishes. I made my famous marshmallow sweet potato casserole that has remained my favorite holiday dish since childhood. Some other dishes served were flan, pumpkin pecan pie, chicken nuggets, Kurdish food, Mongolian noodles, spaghetti, peppermint brownies, Greek salad, ceviche, and rice krispie treats. The cohort was under the impression that the potluck was for lunch and hence was surprised when we learned the potluck food would be our breakfast. This was definitely the first time I have ever had brownies and sweet potatoes for breakfast. We watched 3 cultural diversity videos to enhance our cultural learning experience. The first one was about people living with mental and/or physical disabilities. Interviews were conducted on people with paraplegia, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, deafness, and blindness. This video allowed us to glimpse their unique perspectives and they gave us advice on how to be better friends and family. We also received great insight on how to be better providers to these diverse populations. Mental and physical handicap can happen to anyone at anytime, so we as future providers, need to be informed and equipped to handle these conditions. The second video was about the LGBTI community of which constitutes atleast 5% of our current population. Although there is disagreement about the biology behind being attracted to the opposite sex, we,as future providers, need to put these personal beliefs aside to fully provide for this community. Stereotypes were admitted and openly discussed among the group. One of the most interesting conversations in the group centered around sex and gender regarding a hermaphrodite. The question posed was:"If you were a parent of a child who contained about 50/50 male/female genes and was phenotypically a hermaphrodite, which decision would you make for your child? Would you make the decision of which gender they will be shortly after birth to potentially mitigate the risks of confusion or would you let the child develop as both sexes and let the child decide for themselves?" The discussions allowed us to view these issues from both sides of the spectrum. The third video documented the Middle Eastern population. I have always found the Middle East as consisting of a rich, beautiful, and fascinating set of cultures and traditions. This video allowed us to better understand this population. Middle Eastern American doctors offered advice on how to best treat this culture. We continued the sharing and exploring of different holiday traditions by exchanging gifts via Secret Santa (White Elephant). It was a wonderful way to bond to our fellow UPP students. Overall, I think this Saturday Academy was a wonderful way for all of us to get to know each other on a deeper level and also learn about other types of diversity.
This academy was filled with good food and interesting movies. In the first movie The Spirit is Able I found interesting how people with disabilities are perceived in the world. If a person has a disability the only thing they truly want is to be treated as everyone else. I have found myself wanting to help push people who are confined in wheelchairs to wherever their destination is but I now know that I should not do these kinds of acts. No one wants to feel as though someone is taking pity over them and doing something like that is basically showing pity. It was surprising to learn that society can sometimes feel as though if someone has a physical disability than they don’t have a good mental capacity. I know people who have physical issues but are very smart individuals. The biggest thing that I took away from this movie is that treating everyone the same, which should be positive, will make situations I am in as a nurse more beneficial for both them and myself as well. In the second movie Out it was interesting to learn the obstacles that people within the GLBT community face. I never considered problems they face that are in the medical field. It is sad that many of them do not want to go and get medical treatment because they do not want to deal with questions or treatment from the medical staff because of their sexual orientation. Because of this prejudice that they receive this can be very detrimental to their health because they are not addressing issues that affect their therapeutic lifestyle. As a future nurse I know I must give the same care to all people that I come into contact with. Asking question will not only allow me to get to know my patients on a more personal level but also make them feel as though they are around someone that is zealous about them and getting them better. In the last movie Children of Adam it was interesting to see the hurdles that people of the Middle East go through. It is sad that they initially leave in a place where they are constantly worried about the safety of not only themselves but their families as well. Having certain jobs that they feel are beneficial can be seen as trader type activities which can put their lives, as well as their families, in enough danger that they need to relocate to be safe. After the event of 9/11, in my opinion, all people from the Middle East received advanced amounts of prejudice because of the actions of certain people. It must be constantly reminded that all people from the Middle East do not share the views and beliefs that the handful of bad people from that region had/have. No person regardless of where they are from, what religion they believe in, or how they live their lives should receive anything but the top notch care that this country has the ability to provide. Get to know the patient and what they stand for before you judge them because they may not comply with how you live your life and what you think is the “right way”.
The KP diversity videos, ugly sweaters, secret Santa/white elephant, and all of the delicious food made this Saturday Academy so festive and fun. All the fellows brought in their favorite dishes and were dressed up in ridiculous sweaters. There were so many different desserts and main dishes that we actually ate for breakfast. This Saturday Academy was definitely fun and relaxing-something we all needed since finals were just around the corner. Besides stuffing our faces with delicious food, we watched three KP diversity videos: “Spirit is Able”, “Out”, and “Children of Adam”. I’ve actually already seen “Spirit is Able” and “Out”, which focuses on the lesbian/gay, bisexual and transgender sex population and people with disabilities. I truly enjoyed the tips the video gave on how to interact with patients and the personal stories some of the KP employees and patients told. One of the things the “Out” video had said was that some doctors refuse to treat people who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or transsexual. This also makes the LGBTQI community scared to see the doctors. I thought this was ridiculous because health care providers should not judge patients or refuse to treat them because of their status, race, religious beliefs, etc. Those factors should never affect ones ability to receive treatment. They all should not be seen as different people, and healthcare providers should not discriminate on who they want to treat and whom they don’t. I couldn’t even imagine being denied access to healthcare because of what I am. One of the questions a fellow had proposed to the group was if a child was a hermaphrodite and had 50/50 male and female genes, would you make the decision right away when they were young or let them grow up and choose? I thought this question was difficult to answer, because either choice you make, you are still risking something. If you make the decision right away, the child can grow up with confusion with their sex and gender and the choice that was made might not have been the right choice. Waiting and letting the child choose would also give them confusion while growing up and troubles within society. I still can’t decide on the best decision, although I think letting them choose would be the best choice, but imagining the issues they would go through with school and life haunts my mind. So maybe making the choice right away would be better? Another video we watched was “Children of Adam” which was about the Middle Eastern population. I have never seen this video before but I think it’s by far my favorite. I don’t know much about this area, their culture, the people, and their beliefs so this was really interesting and insightful to me. I also appreciated the discussion we had, which included an explanation about Ramadan and some of the other religious beliefs. Something important about this video was that as healthcare providers, it’s really important to understand different cultures and religions because it has a big effect on how the patient is treated or how treatment will go. Some beliefs don’t allow patients to take certain medication or eat certain foods, so knowing and understanding things like this will give better patient care. This also made me understand compliant and non-compliant patients. This video also talked about how some cultures eat certain foods that aren’t always good for you or over consumption of that particular food is unhealthy. It then went on and talked about it’s easier to tell the patient to not eat the food, but having the patient actually eliminate the food from their diet is harder. This reminded me of my nutrition class and that the best thing to do is not to eliminate the food completely from them, but try to adjust the ingredients by replacing it with healthier options-for instance brown or wild rice for white rice. Overall, these three videos gave us good insight on how to be great future providers to everyone.
The December Saturday academy was split into two different sections that make up the day. The first part of the day was spent having a potluck, which showed me how talented the other fellows were at cooking/baking. I really enjoyed being able to try all the different dishes that were prepared. The first part of the day also included a Secret Santa/White Elephant exchange, which was really interesting to see. Some people gave serious gifts while others went with funny gifts. I was really impressed with what Harraz was able to put together in a relatively short time period.
The second part of the day was spent watching three Kaiser Permanente diversity videos and discussing them. I was really happy with this portion of the day. The discussion portion can sometimes veer off topic but that wasn’t the case today. All three of the discussions were very focused and filled with very interesting points made by the students. I felt that the videos and discussion from the December Saturday academy were a lot more interesting than the video we saw at the October Saturday academy. I think this was because the discussions revolving the videos were much more informative. The biggest problem with the October Saturday academy was that it seemed that people were getting off-topic and discussing things that didn’t quite relate to the video. As a result, some of the discussion from that Saturday academy felt forced and weaker. For the December Saturday academy, there wasn’t a lot of distractions which led to a richer discussion for each of the videos. The video that I found the most informative was the first video, which focused on disabilities and some of the common stereotypes that relate to them. The reason I found this the most informative was because this was a topic that I had very little experience with before this academy. I was really surprised with some of the small things that we take advantage of everyday. An example of this would be opening the bathroom door, which can be difficult if in a wheel chair. I really liked that the video focused on the perspectives of patients, which gave me a better understanding of what is appropriate and what may be considered insulting. For example I never knew how demeaning it could be to say something like “I know how you feel.”
Another video that I found to be interesting was the video about Muslim culture and stereotypes. The interesting thing about this video was that I could relate to a lot of what was said in this video even though I am not Muslim. For example, I was able to relate to the part about difficulties since 9/11. I am constantly being padded down/checked at airports. I was able to relate to the video because of some of the ignorance/prejudice that is found in society. People often make assumptions about my background/religion/culture simply based on the color of my skin. It’s very sad to see some of these assumptions being made because it sometimes seems as though people are not accepted based on something like skin color. I understand that people become scared based on past events but its never easy to see how big of a barrier is put up because of this fear.
At this past Saturday Academy, the focus shifted to diverse cultural traditions and celebrations in the form of a holiday potluck with foods ranging from decadent desserts to savory dishes and a White Elephant/Secret Santa exchange, all held together by the underlying notion of unity, acceptance, and the enjoyment of each other’s company. Although I was only able to attend half of the Saturday Academy, I was able to catch two of the Kaiser Permanente documentaries – “The Spirit is Able” and “Out” – that were shown, with discussion of thematic presentation and social issues following. In the documentary “The Spirit is Able”, different physical and mental disabilities were highlighted, including Multiple Sclerosis, Paraplegia, Blindness, Deafness, Bipolar Disorder and Autism. One of the main focuses of the discussion included the fact that individuals with disabilities should not be seen in a different manner than we would see someone without the same disability. To me, this means not defining an individual as their disability, which has always been my approach to meeting and interacting with everyone I meet. The documentary also highlighted the notion that we as a society tend to overlook the most commonsense practices in our everyday lives – for example, the woman whom had MS spoke about being placed in a room closer to the entrance of the office due to her difficulty walking, and the blind woman spoke about tapping the wall and speaking to her in order to help guide her to the destination and back out after her visit. Both of these examples seem so obvious when thinking about them in themselves, but are the things that tend to be overlooked by many due to the inherent simplicity of the practice. The second documentary, “Out”, focused on the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex) population and their interactions with the health care system. The video discusses stigmas and stereotypes attached to the LGBTQI population, as well as disparities faced by the group in different aspects of their life (homelessness and suicide in the youth populations, increased isolation and fear of being ousted in the elder populations), and how it affects the base health for individuals in the community. Having been fortunate enough to be a part of a research project focusing on LGBTQI elders in the Capitol Hills area, I am more knowledgeable on the issues and disparities being faced, as well as different aspects of more competent practice when dealing with members of this community. Reiterating my previous notions, it is important to understand the unique needs of different patients and different populations without stigmatizing and defining patients based on one of many identities. As future health care providers, it is important to provide quality, competent, patient-centered care to everyone we encounter in our practice, leaving personal biases at the door to be the best providers, and individuals, we can possibly be.
Holiday Gift Exchange/Potluck
Middle Eastern Culture
I thoroughly enjoyed this Saturday academy for December. I really value the collaborative response of the group to bring in food and gifts for each other. We have really come a long way and I feel very fortunate to have made the connections I have made with current and who I am certain will be future colleagues. I couldn’t think of a more beneficial situation to have experienced so early in our developing careers. When you say you “just watched videos” it usually implies it was a relaxed day in which you vegetated, fell asleep, and/or zoned out for several hours. But, fortunately for us, this was not the case. Each video represented a specific community that experienced social injustice or discrimination not only in everyday life but in the healthcare field as well. I felt we had productive, invigorating discussion and we were all able to voice our opinions or in some cases set aside our biases to these various groups of people that are misrepresented. The three groups of focus were those with physical or mental handicaps, the LGTB Community, and the people who represent the Middle Eastern culture. In regards to the physical and mental handicaps I feel like Kaiser accurately portrayed the differing handicaps you may encounter including ones that may not be so obvious or common. Using the general public who you could tell had no professional experience on camera was effective in giving us the sense that the issues presented were authentic and not exaggerated. I resonated with the autistic boy because my youngest brother suffers from autism and I have witnessed firsthand the struggles he has every day, more significantly in his social life. He and my mother live in a small town in Ohio and I consistently see a pattern of them needing better access to healthcare. I don’t feel the physicians are as qualified to help my brother as they would be at the Cleveland Clinic but that is too far to travel and they don’t take our insurance. My brother was diagnosed very late in life so he missed out on treatment during a very crucial development period. Furthermore, he was misdiagnosed twice before they decided he had mild autism. And, even then, the school is the only intervention he has in that they have him on a strict IEP. The doctors prescribed Adderall for his ADD, but other than that there has been little pursuit for treatment. Someone made a comment about how our very own school doesn’t have a method for evacuating persons in wheelchairs and they are ordered to leave them at the top of the stairs until a firefighter can rescue them. I am appalled by this and I think with our level of technological advances, there must be a better way. The video about LGTB was moving in that it is such a pertinent issue in our society today that we as future physicians must be prepared to provide exceptional care to these patients as well without bias. I have the most experience with the gay community as I have several gay friends who have taught me a lot about their lifestyle. My first experience surrounding treatment to gays was with my cousin who was also my childhood best friend. When he was in 7th grade, he told me he thought he was gay. He entrusted me with this secret and I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to work or if he was serious but I was tolerant and eager to understand him better in a world where he seemed so alone at times. He was bullied until he graduated, but he came out of this experience so strong and confident I was amazed at the transformation. His mother was very supportive, but there were other people in the extended family that were not so comfortable with his declaration. I am so fortunate to have had this experience because I don’t know if I would have reacted the same way to a complete stranger. I would have probably been more hesitant to approach them due to lack of comfortability. I was glad to see lesbians and transgendered individuals portrayed because I feel like they are an underrepresented group in this community. I do agree with Aurora’s comment that the video played into the stereotype instead of finding individuals that defy the stereotype. This would have been a way to make this video even more impactful. Finally, the video about Islam, Muslims, and middle eastern in general was extremely informational. I have never experienced this minority group more than I have while living here in Denver and working at CU Hospital. There were several instances in which because of religious beliefs a patients treatment methods had to be altered and this is something that every aspiring physician should be comfortable and knowledgeable about. I am glad we could have an open discussion as a group about the Muslim faith and gain insight from our very own members. They are doing the group a great service by being open to discussing the practices of their religion. Just as a medical school applicant is to be conscious of current issues and the community they are entering during a medical school interview, so should physicians be conscious to know and understand the community they are working in to better identify with their patients and build a positive repertoire in their scope of practice. I enjoy learning about new cultures and beliefs and I always am self-conscious about how I treat them because I don’t want to come off as rude or uneducated. I consider myself a very open person eager to learn about someone else’s lifestyle so I think this will be a beneficial characteristic to apply when working with various communities through healthcare. The younger we can start learning and practicing our approach to treating people different from ourselves, the better off we will be in the future caring for our patients that entrust us with their healthcare needs.
December 1, 2012
I attended my fourth Saturday academy with the Undergraduate Pre-Health program on December 1, 2012. This academy was insightful and educating. It entertained our appetites with homemade dishes and a side of humor. The secret Santa gifts added an appetizer of unity; it was comforting to see how connected we have become. It feels like a giant family that strives to be there for one another and looks out for each other’s interest. It is a blessing knowing that I am entering a field with such educated/well rounded/ and social individuals.
This academy was educating in a unique way, I enjoyed the documentaries “The Spirit is Able”, “Out” and “The Children of Adam”. These documentaries allowed me broaden my understanding on issues that I had previously been unaware of. The “Spirit is Able” taught me numerous lessons about the mentally disabled and handicapped. I learned that everyone is disabled to a certain degree, there are many things mentally and physically that I am not capable of doing that the individuals in the film were doing. I also learned that the only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. It was motivating to see how optimistic they were about life. There are so many things in life that we take for granted and are ungrateful for, this film covered many of those characteristics and was an awakening to how grateful I need to be. The documentary “Out” taught me a great deal about homosexual and transgender individuals. This is a topic that I was previously unaware of. It was saddening to hear them speak of the fear they had of going and visiting health care providers because of the stereotypes that providers had, some of which even refused to provide care for them. This fear of receiving treatment lead to severe diseases that could have easily been prevented. The documentary “Children of Adam” furthered my understanding on the health disparities and misconceptions perceived towards individuals from the Middle East.
Through these documentaries I learned that as humans and future health care providers it is crucial to be as open minded as possible. I also learned that it is crucial that the health care provider places their beliefs aside and provides equal treatment to all patients. It is the obligation of the provider to educate themselves on topics such as the ones covered in these documentaries. For example, I was completely unaware that 50% of individuals who suffer from dementia do not understand their health situation. As a future health care provider I will be more conscious of these lessons to ensure that my patients are receiving optimal care. Today’s lessons taught me that we are all unique and we all possess the ability to better humanity in various ways.
The last Saturday Academy of the year was very fun! Everyone was so full of energy and they all seemed to be very happy to be there. It made for a very positive atmosphere that just filled the room. There was a lot of food available for us to eat, and it was all very delicious! Everyone made an excellent dish and made sure to contribute. There were even plenty of leftovers; many of the fellows got to take food in anticipation of finals.
The main thing we did this Saturday was watch documentaries. We watched a total of three documentaries from Kaiser Permanente about extending care to underrepresented communities. The first documentary we watched was called “Spirit is Able,” and it detailed the daily struggles of groups that were differently abled. Some of the individuals within this community had problems with hearing, were blind, paralyzed, or used other accessibility devices. Before watching this video, I had not really thought about this community. I was very ignorant, and I still have plenty to learn about the people within this community. For example, I had never thought about how I would work with a patient who was hard of hearing or who was blind. It poses some very difficult questions, but I want to learn about ways of handling situations like these. I imagine that I will learn plenty about this community in PA school, but it never hurts to start learning now, especially if it’s something that I am so interested about! I think I will follow Medhat’s advice and start asking about handicapped entrances and elevators, and perhaps taking them to see how convenient or inconvenient they are.
The second video we watched was called “Out.” This video informed us about the struggles of the LGBTQIA community. Because I form a part of this community, watching this video was a bit painful. I could relate to one man’s story about how his mother and his sister were very open about his life, which was a relief to hear. I’ve heard and experienced some very difficult stories through my friends. Unfortunately, not everyone has a positive experience coming out, and I’m very grateful to have been part of a family that is welcoming of my life and all the tiny details that don’t really matter in the great scheme of things. It was also very encouraging to hear the fellows being kind and not throwing around stereotypes. It gives me hope for the future. I know that we will have great healthcare providers that are tolerant and inclusive not only for the LGBTQIA community, but everyone. There was also a differentiation between gender and sexual orientation, which was nice to know that people are able to know these differences. One of the fellows posed an interesting question about whether we would allow an intersex child to make a decision about the gender they want to choose. In an ideal society, this child would be able to make the decision easily and could even switch in and out of genders if they wanted to. Unfortunately, we do not live in this utopia. In my opinion, the doctor should never make the decision for the child because he or she has no role in raising the child. The parents have the role of encouraging the child to explore both genders early in childhood and stimulating growth in either direction. The child should be the one to make the decision. Things would be difficult, and the child would face bullying, but the important part is that the child is in charge of his or her body. I enjoyed the discussion that we had in regards to this video.
The third video we watched was called “Children of Adam.” It told us about the Islam faith and about the challenges that Muslims face in the United States and within healthcare. Unfortunately, most of this community is stereotyped as being a group of terrorists. That accusation makes no sense because the religion does not promote genocide or acts of terrorism. In fact, the incident of September 11th has nothing to do with Islam, but ignorant Americans have made these unfounded remarks. I have many friends who are Muslim, and I know quite a bit about this religion, but never enough. I felt so guilty when Medhat told us that we were all incorrectly pronouncing Muslim. I never meant to offend anyone, but it’s a good thing I know how to pronounce it now. These videos were all so helpful, and they’re all interconnected in a way. They share the struggles of America.
This particular Saturday Academy was different from our usual structure, probably considering that it is the holidays now. Everybody brought a dish and we ate throughout the day (maybe too much). I think that the food helped us all to relax a little bit, which most of us need with finals right around the corner. Something that Medhat said resonated with me: a type of forced break from work. We also had a Secret Santa/White Elephant. I think this was a great idea altogether and it has really helped us all connect better. I am beginning to be nostalgic about our cohort since it is almost over. I am very thankful and appreciative that I have had the opportunity to meet these amazing people. We also watched and discussed three documentaries: The Spirit is Able, Out and The Children of Adam. Personally, I was most entertaining and captivated by The Children of Adam because, of the three topics, the Muslim religion is the topic that I am least familiar with. During discussion, I realized how many different perspectives we have in our cohort and how this helps everyone to understand different topics in a fuller way. Also, when everyone brought their own opinion to the conversation, it let us all understand that person a little bit better. I was happy to be able to watch documentaries (I love them and don't have enough time anymore). As a future health care provider, I feel like it is extremely important to be open to the different lifestyles of others and to just ask the individuals if they need help or about certain aspects of their lives if you are unsure. I am very excited for what the Saturday Academies of 2013 bring.
This past Saturday Academy, we had an ugly sweater Christmas Party and a very successful potluck. I loved the atmosphere – everyone was so cheerful and excited to be there. Lunch was brought by everyone in the cohort, and it was great to see everyone’s input. The food was delicious, and was also an excellent example of the diversity of our own UPP group. There was classic holiday food, such as sweet potato casserole, cookies, etc. Others weren’t traditional, such as ceviche, tortilla soup, greek salad, lasagna, and watered-down rice pudding. It was the most diverse potluck that I had ever been to, and I thought that it was a great example of how we all come from different backgrounds. We are all so different: from various states, countries, family styles, genders, sexual orientations, skin colors, ages, majors, and futures. When we think about a potluck, we all think of different things. However, when we come together and all contribute, an amazing feast is created. We also did Secret Santa. Christane gave me a Starbucks gift card and a nice stuffed Santa Claus.
In between eating continuously throughout the entire day (starting with our holiday potluck and ending with Wahoo’s), we also watched three videos presented by Kaiser Permanente, and discussed them as a cohort. The first video was about individuals with mental and physical disabilities. I enjoyed this movie because instead of simply being given facts and statistics, we were able to listen to the opinions of people who actually had disabilities. Before this video, I had never had a disabled person directly give suggestions for how to interact with people with disabilities. I, in fact, have never really known how to do this. When I see a person in the wheelchair, I also have a slight mental conflict. I don’t want to act like I notice the person’s disability, but I don’t want to act like I am completely ignoring the person. I never know if I am smiling too much, or too little, or if I look like I am straining a smile, etc. I thought it was interesting that many of the disabled people in the video suggest that people simply ask a disabled person what they would prefer.
The second video was about the GLBTI community. I have many friends who are part of this community, so I thought it was great to learn more about it. I have always been confused about the connections between gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual people. This helped to clear things up. I now know that there is a clear difference between who you are attracted to, and what sex you feel like. Being a man trapped inside a girl’s body, has nothing to do with liking men or women. We also had a great discussion about the ethics of children who are born being both sexes.
The third video was about Middle Eastern Culture and the religion of Islam. I think that this video was very beneficial. Like many Americans, I am not completely clear on Middle Eastern Culture, Islam, and the connection between the two. I thought it was interesting to hear about the effect of religion on things such as health care and end of life procedures. In addition, I am glad that I now know more about Muslim traditions, since I have friends who follow this religion.
This week’s Saturday Academy was focused on the celebration of culture and holiday traditions. Each individual fellow brought in a holiday dish of their choosing to complete the Holiday Potluck. I brought in a festive dish of chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs. Other foods that emphasized the diverse cultures present in the cohort included Mexican wedding cookies, flan, Greek salad, Mongolian noodles and lasagna. The day proceeded with the watching of three cultural awareness videos made by Kaiser. The first with the title “Spirit is Able”, the film focused primarily on individuals living with mental and/or physical disabilities. In the movie, interviews were conducted to individuals suffering from autism to bipolar disorders to multiple sclerosis. I used to volunteer with children that had similar disabilities. During one of the orientation sessions prior to the actual work I did, I was put in a room that was used to represent how a child with autism would feel with others in the room touching them and talking to them. The room contained objects that felt unique to the touch and there were a lot of flashing lights and sounds. People would brush sharp objects around your neck and arms, this was to represent how sometimes autistic individuals feel uncomfortable when they are touched. We were later told that children diagnosed with autism were easily distracted and often times did not like to be touched and experienced things others didn’t. Children with autism also notice small details that other don’t. The next movie that the cohort watched was titled “Out”. This second video was about the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and transgendered community. After watching the video an interesting question was asked about someone being the parent of a hermaphrodite, and how a decision would be made on what sex the child should be raised as. The answer is difficult, which led to a debate that allowed for a full view of opposing sides whether it is correct to decide the sex of your child. I was never truly familiar with how structured the LGBT community was until high school when I met some of my friends who were already a part of that community. I related with some of the individuals in the movie that had homosexual family members, I have a gay uncle. This was the first time I was ever introduced to homosexuality, my father had a discussion with me and my brother about homosexuality, he accepts his brother for who he is and continues to love him regardless of his sexual orientation. The final video was about the Middle Eastern population and how the culture was affected throughout history by events such as terrorism and radical political groups. Just like the previous two videos, awareness for the culture is often needed for providers when initiating care for the respected patients. In “Children of Adam”, the explanation of Islam brought up questions that were asked after the movie. I was never completely familiar with Ramadan until after today. All the videos truly gave insight on how patients from different demographics should be treated based off their respected cultures.
This Saturday Academy featured three different movies centered on health disparities. The first was focused on disabilities, the second on the LGBTI community, and the third on the Muslim community. Though the day was very laid back, several interesting conversations arose. The most challenging topic discussed involved what a physician should do if an infant is born with both male and female reproductive parts. At this point in their development, there is a 50-50 chance that a physician could accurately change the baby’s sex to match their gender choice. Our debate attempted to answer one question: is it better to take a chance and correct the sex to one of the other, hoping his or her gender development matches later, or to wait until the child is old enough to decide his or herself. Though waiting for the child to decide could ultimately assure that gender matches sex, knowing ones gender is part of a developmental process that could be harmed if left undecided. Thus, taking a chance is likely more effective, as that child can also be given the option to change later down the road.
This Saturday academy also featured conversations about the traditions and specifics of Islam, which was helpful in creating a better understanding and acceptance of the religion and those who are Muslim.
Overall, this session was relaxed and more focused on socializing than other things; however, a lot was learned about several disparities that I had not entirely considered before, causing me to gain a greater understanding of those with disabilities, those who practice Islam, and those who belong to the LGBTI community.
This Saturday academy was definitely one of my favorites. Everyone brought different dishes to celebrate the final Saturday academy of the semester. It is truly incredible that we have all survived another semester with the support of each other in this cohort. The feast consisted of different dishes such as ceviche, lasagna and desserts. Although I left weighing more than I weighed when I came in, I can honestly say that everything was delicious and that I have no regrets. We also spent the day watching different videos. The first video described multiple disabilities in which people have had to overcome difficult obstacles in order to live very normal lives. A woman with muscular dystrophy raised a point that is very helpful for everyone to know, including health-care professionals. She emphasized the importance of asking questions. If you do not know how to help someone with a disability, simply ask. Almost all of the people featured in this video mentioned how important it is to be treated with respect regardless of his or her disability. This should be common knowledge, however, people continue to push wheelchairs without asking, people continue to stare at others with physical disabilities, and people also assume that having a disability means the person is unable. In actuality, people with disabilities are just as able (if not more able) to reach the same goals as those who are not disabled. We also watched a video about the LGBTI community and the perseverance of the individuals who have “come out” to society. Coming out is sometimes a difficult thing to do without the right support systems. This is why it is so important to be a support system for those who are going through this. Finally, we watched a video about the different group within the Islam religion. It was interesting to see that within one religion, there are many different cultures. We were also given constructive criticism regarding the previous group presentations were have presented and ultimately, it seems that we need to be more creative although we are getting the basic concepts down.
This Saturday Academy differed from the ones in the past and the ones that have yet to come. In light of the holidays we partook in a more laid back day in order to relieve some of the stress that is associated with this time of year, especially while studying for finals. We had a potluck where everyone brought in a dish that they wanted to share with the group and there ended up being immense amounts of food! This Saturday was a lot of fun because we were allowed to just talk and listen to music. This is not something I have done before with the UPP group, so I really enjoyed it! The ugly sweater theme was really fun too. We also did a variation of secret Santa and white elephant, and took tons of pictures to remember. After ALL of the eating and conversing we watched three Kaiser Permanente videos: The Spirit is Able, Out, and The Children of Adam. All three videos were filled with information and different perspectives on the matters that affected them personally. Obviously, the Children of Adam was most interesting to me because of its relevance, but simultaneously The Spirit is Able and Out taught me a lot about the difficulties the individuals face. I really enjoyed how they provided advice for how to approach certain situations. The Spirit is Able in particular provided a lot of insight in being understanding for those that have disabilities and also to allow them to do as much as they can before stepping in. Overall, this Saturday Academy was beneficial in the sense that it provided us with a break from studying for finals, but more importantly it allowed us all to have a more open mind in looking into societal issues
This week's Saturday Academy consisted of a white elephant gift exchange, holiday potluck, and three videos on minority groups and their relationship with the American healthcare system. The holiday potluck, organized by Harraz, turned out well, with plenty of unique desserts and main dishes brought in by the cohort. The white elephant was fun, and there were several creative gift ideas. I received "The Physics of the Impossible," a book by physicist Michio Kaku, from Chi. I am looking forward to enjoying it during winter break. The first video, called "the Spirit is Able," addressed the plight of people with disabilities, especially in regard to their treatment in society as well as their interactions with the healthcare system. The video highlighted the fact that the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities relate to misunderstandings, ignorance, and condescension from others, rather than their actual disabilities. Meanwhile, "Out," a video documenting the issues faced by members of the LGBTQ community, exposed me to the surprisingly wide variety of people within these categories. The most important lesson I gleaned from this video related to the significance of being sensitive and unassuming in all healthcare interactions. Members of the LGBTQ community face an inordinate amount of judgment and inaccurate assumptions that harm their social interactions, interactions with the healthcare system, and their self-image. The final video, "Children of Adam," addressed the misunderstandings and hate faced by Muslims and Middle Easterners in the United States. Although often implicitly lumped into one all-inclusive category by the media, Muslims and Middle Easterners in fact espouse a wide variety of beliefs, customs, ethnicities, and cultural traditions. In the United States, there exists an inordinate fear of all things considered foreign, especially if these things are perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin. Although I would like to think that members of my generation have a more accepting, accurate view of all demographics and cultural beliefs, it is actually more likely that a version of these same errant prejudices exist within myself and my peers. Through watching these videos and participating in the discussions held afterwards, I have concluded that a continually open mind and the pursuit of real, unbiased knowledge and understanding will ultimately be the cure for such harmful misunderstandings. The December 2nd Saturday Academy combined the best elements of fun, holiday spirit, and interesting topics to create an enjoyable and enlightening experience.
Today’s Saturday Academy was for the Holidays. Since it was not very productive and more for fun, I wish it would have started later. The white elephant exchange was fun to do and it was nice to just get together with the cohort and relax. I really enjoyed the video about the Middle East culture because I learned so much about them. I know a few people from there and I always feel so ignorant when we discuss their religion or traditions, so it was really nice to be able to openly ask questions or hear personal experiences and thoughts from people of this region. There are many things from the culture that I personally still do not agree with some things, like their perspective and treatment of women, but as I learned, as a health care provider it is not my place to judge or change my behavior towards them. Learning about their culture will help me understand if they can’t take medications during the day and how to work around that. The video about disabled people was also interesting because we had just talked about treatment of disabled people in my Sex, Gender, and Society course. Often, the way we treat disabled men makes them feel less masculine, and they retaliate by being rude to you since they feel you were rude to them. I notice in myself that I often treat disabled people with pity unconsciously, but not that I am conscious that they do not want to be treated that way I will be more aware of my actions towards them to treat them like everybody else. The video about GLTBI was very boring. I feel that as college students, especially in Boulder, treatment towards alternative gender identities is a rather old conversation to be having. I myself never consider someone’s sexual orientation anymore when I meet them or the way I treat them. Overall, I enjoyed relaxing with my cohort for a few hours and having light discussions.
This was our last Saturday academy for the year and it was the best one by far. I really enjoyed the Holiday potluck we had going on for this Saturday. From what I heard, it really helped set the mood for the holidays and gave us that much needed extra surge of energy for finals. To help add more flare to our academies we decided to make it a themed event as well. To commemorate the upcoming holidays, we decided that this academy would be “secret Santa/ugly Christmas sweater” themed. It was a huge success and I look forward to the many more we have in store.
Aside from the festive moods of everyone in the room, we still managed to watch several videos showcasing current health disparities in association with disabilities, sexual orientation, and religion. These were very informative videos and are definitely an issue of high priority in our current healthcare system. There were times during these videos where I could relate or understood a certain stereotype towards a certain group of people. It amazes me how such stereotypes/assumptions are so ingrained within a society that sometimes it makes you act or think out of impulsivity. I can distinctly remember times when I have judged someone or assumed something of them because of how/who they were as a person. I understand that this is not the kind of mentality I want to have coming into a field such as medicine and have tried hard to be more open minded, and thankfully, I can say I have been successful.
These videos were a good way of breaking the ice and laying such “taboo” topics on the table. My generation is much more open minded and excepting of people, but we are still miles away from treating everyone equally. By bringing this to our attention it forces us to assess the situation and deal with it accordingly, or at least start thinking about it and how we can challenge the status quo. This is however, the right direction we have to take towards the path of addressing all health disparities. Now that this issue is still fresh in our mind we can move forward in implementing novel ideals and approaches that can better accommodate for the person regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, or ability.
These videos were highly effective and were a good model in helping us become more aware of what healthcare is like in our society today.
The final Saturday Academy of the 2012 year was held on December 1st. To encourage holiday cheer and cohort bonding, the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” and holiday potluck day commenced in the morning. It is always interesting to see how people love getting dressed up for a themed gathering and how close it can bring people together. I believe at times we get so wrapped up with school and some of the trivial events that constitute our daily lives that we forget the bigger picture of life and what it has to offer. Seeing everyone come together to exchange gifts, laugh, eat, and bond really reminded me of how precious life is and that moments like those are the ones we all should be living for.
The afternoon began with videos from Kaiser Health Permanente. Not only did we gain insight into the disparities and struggles that various ethnic and demographic groups experience, but we engaged in some very interesting conversations. We watched the videos “The Spirit is Able” which discussed the common struggles and frustrations of those with various disabilities, “Out” which profiled the LGBTI community, and “Children of Adam” which focused on those from the Middle East or of Middle Eastern descent. All three videos created great discussions within the group and forced the group to discuss topics that we usually aren’t comfortable talking about. My favorite discussion was the conversation we had after watching Children of Adam. I believe that there were many misconceptions that were cleared up, even if only a little bit, during the discussion. One of the biggest misconceptions that I was glad to talk about concerned the difference between being Middle Eastern and being Muslim; they are not synonymous nor are they interchangeable. One of the critiques I personally had of the video is the fact that this wasn’t mentioned. The documentary may have been about those from the Middle East, but a good portion of the video was spent talking about Islam and Muslim patients so I see how it could be very simple for someone to watch the video and assume (as most people do) that all Muslims are Middle Eastern and vice versa.
Overall, there are many challenges that each group faced and in understanding their struggles and how that contributes to their interaction with health care professionals can make us all better professionals in the future. Time and time again I find myself returning to the same fundamental concept that really does make a significant difference in the way we all interact: 1) Treat people how you would like to be treated and 2) Get to know those you interact with, understanding where they come from and how they respond to certain things and how they react in certain situations will give you a better idea of who that person is and can help you be better informed when interacting with them. I grew up and was taught these concept growing up so I find myself thinking about them often, but for others who haven’t, it takes work and time to familiarize oneself with these fundamentals; but with time and patience, it will prove to be beneficial not only in our future in health care, but also in contributing to making the world a better place.
This past Saturday academy was particularly fun, and was also a great learning experience. I really enjoyed starting the day with the banquet. Some of the foods that people brought were unique to their culture, and it was really fun to try these new dishes. The secret Santa/white elephant gift exchange was enjoyable as well. Some of the gifts that were exchanged were hilarious and allowed people to show off their humorous sides. Events like these really help friendships grow between UPP fellows. After socializing for a while, we watched several videos that were very impactful. The first video we watched was about interacting with patients that have disabilities. There was one point made in the video that was particularly interesting to me. In the video, a man in a wheelchair said that when people saw him in his chair, they automatically viewed him as being less intelligent. This was surprising to me. Although I’ve never consciously thought that someone in a wheelchair is less intelligent, this video made me wonder if I have subconsciously treated disabled people differently. Another interesting part of the video was when another man in a wheelchair mentioned that he doesn’t appreciate it when people push his chair to “help” him without asking. Working at a hospital, I have helped people who were in wheelchairs get into elevators and to move throughout the hospital, but before watching the video, I never thought about this as offensive. Later in the day, we watched a video about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. This video taught me a lot about the kind of struggles that these people go through, and I even learned a lot about the difference between being lesbian, gay, or bisexual versus being transgender. In the past, I thought that the definition of being transgender was very similar to being gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but there is a large difference. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people have varying degrees of attraction to other people of the same gender. Transgender people actually associate themselves with a gender other than the one they were born being, which is independent of who they are attracted to. As a future health care professional, this is a very important distinction to understand and recognize. The final video that we watched was about the culture of Middle Eastern people who move to America. This video dispelled several stereotypes that people tend to have toward Middle Eastern people, but one thing that I found particularly interesting was that there were different, distinct waves of Middle Eastern people who have migrated to the United States. Each wave of immigration was defined by the demographics of the immigrating population. This description broadened my definition of who Middle Eastern people are. For example, there was a family of Armenians who were shown in the video who looked more like Greeks to me, and their diet was even depicted as being similar to my idea of a traditional Greek diet. This added to many other experiences I have had to make me realize that people cannot be grouped into large categories. There are many different cultures that are quite different from each other, and even within these cultures there are still differences all the way down to the level of individual people. Overall, I found the videos to be very useful tools for better understanding different groups of people that I will likely encounter as a future healthcare provider. Even though this Saturday academy’s celebration was very fun, I am also happy to have learned much from the videos.
This Saturday was holiday themed where all of the UPP fellows dressed in ugly sweaters, and did a secret santa. Along with this everyone brought in food that pertained to their culture. This was a great experience since it allowed everyone to try different foods and it brought us all together to celebrate the holidays. During this time we watched educational videos about health disparities. The videos we watched covered the hurdles some cultures and groups of people face when it comes to health care in America. The movie that really struck me the most was The Children of Adam. I have never been exposed to the Islamic religion and culture, so this video really helped explain how the culture works. For an example, I never understood why Islamic women wear head dresses. After this video I am able to see that it is a beautiful part of this culture, and something that should be preserved. However, I was thrown off by the aspect that when it comes to health care, women turn to their husbands and fathers to make their decisions for them. This was very hard for me to grasp, but the discussion after the film really helped me take a step in understanding why it is this way. One of the fellows explained how this was not belittling women but rather than keeping their best interest in mind. The Islamic culture is so different from American culture, and it is great to see that it can still exist within the United States. Another film that really struck me was about homosexuality. I was completely thrown off guard when the film showed teens who were kicked out of their houses for explaining their sexual preferences. I come from a family where I know I will be loved and respected for whatever preferences I have, so it was unbelievable that this has happened to people who live in my hometown. It has also really inspired me to give back to this community by volunteering with teens that have been kicked out of their houses for sharing a part of who they are to their parents. Since I am planning on being a physician in the future, and especially one who will have patients who are a part of the LBGTI community, I want to be able to fully understand the struggles that this group faces and be able to help with any physical and mental challenges that they may face. This Saturday Academy has furthered my knowledge on different cultures, and the group discussion about these cultures really took the next step in questioning how to deal with issues for different groups of people.
This December 01, 2012 Saturday academy was one of my favorites. We had a potluck and everyone brought their favorite dishes to share and a secret Santa gift. We watched three diversity documentaries: The Spirit is Able, Out, and Children of Adam all provided by Kaiser Permanente. The three movies really exposed us to diverse groups in the community who society tends to treat differently. They all shared their struggles and what it is like to be labeled as different. We, as future health care providers, should set all that aside and help the human being regardless of how different other people may see them. I think every person is different and it is not fair that because certain groups of people see them different they do not receive the best quality care as any other human would. I have experienced similar treatment because I am a minority and my parents are from another country. It does not feel good that because of my skin color people see me as something inferior to them. I would not want anyone to see me or treat me different because I talk differently, therefore I will not do it to anyone else. I think that our mission in life is to be happy and society should not impede that from happening. This Saturday Academy was so fun, we got to mingle, eat, and have a good time with the cohort. We took pictures with our ugly sweaters as the family we have come to be. I am so honored to be part of magnificent group who share the same values as myself.
This Saturday Academy was my favorite so far! Upon my arrival at UPP this morning with my Secret Santa gift and carefully prepared snowman cupcakes, I could tell that this Saturday Academy was going to be a lot of fun. There was so much wonderful food to enjoy, since everyone brought their favorite dish. As if amazing food wasn’t enough, I got to share this day with some great fellow UPP cohort members and watch three documentaries regarding different minorities and their place in the medical field.
The first video we watched was called, “The Spirit is Able.” This video discussed numerous disabilities that are found in both everyday people and medical professionals. I found the information presented in this video to be incredibly enlightening, as it discussed some disabilities that I don’t have a lot of experience with. For example, one of the disabilities highlighted in this film was blindness. Many individuals who were blind shed light upon their experience with blindness and dealing with doctors appointments and getting through their day to day lives. I appreciated the specific advice that the individuals gave to future health care providers, regarding how to treat people who are blind. Each disability that was discussed was accompanied with helpful tips for health care providers in giving the most respectful and optimal care to patients with disabilities.
The second two videos that we watched were very similar in format to the first video. They were called, “Out” and “Children of Adam.” “Out” delved into the experiences of the LGBTI community. This is an area that we all seemed to have some kind of connection to, as many of us interact with members of this community on a daily basis. I was so glad we watched this video, since there are many misconceptions about the lifestyles and choices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals. Additionally, I have found that people, myself included, don’t know exactly how to respectfully address relationship or lifestyle questions with these individuals. As was addressed in the previous video, this video gave lots of great advice to health care providers, such as asking patients if they live with anyone instead of assuming that they are married.
The final video that we watched discussed Middle Eastern culture. This is another area of health disparities that can be overcome through education and acceptance. I was glad that we were able to learn about cultural traditions of Middle Eastern people and learn how to properly address medical issues with these individuals. For example, the video suggested that medical care professionals should provide their professional opinion, but never tell someone that their religious beliefs are wrong or prevent them from honoring their religion through their health care practices.
Today was a great day! I enjoyed catching up with everyone, as always, and learning a great deal about different groups of people and their place in the medical field. I’m already looking forward to next month’s Saturday Academy!
A day to be thankful for- December 1st, 2012. The UPP 2012-13 cohort met again to enjoy each others company during this holiday season while, once again, becoming more aware of the community around us. With an ugly sweater contest, Secret Santa, and delicious potluck celebrations occurring it was a time to be thankful for all the marvelous connections we had made throughout the year and to be part of such a wonderful group—the Undergraduate Pre-Health Program.
After some time of enjoying ourselves, we watched three movies pertaining to people’s differences and how to accommodate them as future healthcare providers. The first movie we watched was “The Spirit of Able”. This movie presented different people with diverse disabilities and how they have been treated within the healthcare field vs how they would like to be treated. I have been fortunate enough to not have anyone close to me with a severe disability. However, from time to time, I have had to deal with people with disabilities. In these situations, I have always tried to be kind and helpful, yet in fact, I have not always been sure of how to act. A level of discomfort washed through me because I want to help those less fortunate but do not know exactly how to. This movie explained that one needs to treat these people as much like normal people as one possibly can because that is how they want to be treated. If you are unsure if they wanted to be catered to differently then ask them directly. That was the main message I learned from the movie—when working with these patients, they want to be talked to directly because they are patients themselves who typically know the most about their own disability. Reflecting back on my summer experience at the School of Dental Medicine, I recall a time when I was assisting a student who was working on a deaf patient. The student working on this patient, kept looking at sign language translator and through this movie, I learned that the student should have been looking at the patient while listening to the translator. Before this Saturday Academy, I would have following the footsteps of the student but now I know the best way to approach this situation.
Along with watching “The Sprit of Able”, we also watched “Out” and “Children of Adam”. These were also very informative movies. The second movie explained what it means to be gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and intersexual a long with many connotations that accompany them. “Children of Adam” was a movie that showed the rich and beautiful Middle Eastern culture. Furthermore, this video gave the viewer an understanding of the culture and how to best treat individuals from this culture within the American healthcare system. Overall these videos made us more aware of how different people would like to be treated by healthcare professionals and how we need to become aware of this and practice it in the future.
This Saturday Academy was quite different from the rest because it was an ugly sweater, white-elephant, and holiday lunch meeting along with three documentaries. The documentaries were about disable people, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) community, and the Children of Adam.
The first documentary about disable people was very touching because it mentioned not only handicap people but also people with autism. The daily hardship that those people have to go through is hard to see because, as an able body, I do not see these daily activities as a hill to climb over. For example, getting in and out a restroom is hard because the door does not open long enough for a handicap person to get into and out. Also, the looks that people on the street gives to these people are hard to ignore because this disable people do look different but it does not mean that they cannot function and contribute to society. There was a woman in the documentary that was not able to see but she takes phone calls for a company and they had computers to guide her how to do her job. Therefore, as a community, people should not be too quick to judge disable people because they do help within the community.
The second documentary was about the LGBTI community and their continuous struggle with acceptance within the community and most of all, in their home. Some of the people in the teenagers LGBTI community are kicked out of their home because their family does not approve of their sexual orientation. Some of those who are kicked out end up doing drugs or dies. Lucky, in Colorado, there is a place called Rainbow Alley that is a support center for the LGBT community who are 12-21 years of age. Not only do homosexual teenagers struggle with acceptance but also the older people of the LGBTI community. A woman who had a family and children came to term with her sexuality after her children were grown and old. Now, she is happy divorces and lives with her new life partner. Her ex-husband, who is also her best friend, also can to term with her choice. Others in the community were not as fortunate when they revealed the truth about their sexual orientation so therefore, some of their family members does not speak to them anymore.
The last documentary was about “Children of Adam,” specifically about people in the mid-east and their background along with journey to America. One of the many interviews that caught my attention was about the husband and wife who was a translator for the American Army. The people in the mid-east saw these translators as someone who is betrayed their own country. As someone who lives in America, I thought it was a good thing so people in the Army can communicate in the foreign country but there are always two sides to a story. The translators were able to come to America after five years of service. In America, all they want to do was to live a comfortable life but the current misunderstanding about mid-eastern people has made it hard for that to happen. All in all, the documentaries have opened my eyes about being more open to the different cultures of the world.