Could 24, 2021 – Austin Marshall needs to be a physician-advocate for the LGBTQ+ group—to look after sufferers as a physician, in addition to to steer coverage to assist enhance well being methods that serve many. He discusses how working at a free clinic in Berkeley formed his public well being path, his analysis on psychological well being entry for LGBTQ+ elders throughout his time at Harvard T.H. Chan College of Public Well being, and his many hidden abilities, from singing Indian classical music to competing in esports to fixing his buddies’ iPhones.
As an undergraduate at Berkeley, I used to be initially a bioengineering main. However volunteering at a clinic that supplied companies for individuals who didn’t have entry to insurance coverage or had been discriminated towards by the mainstream healthcare system—comparable to individuals who had been homeless, and homosexual and bisexual males—satisfied me to change to public well being. Working on the clinic confirmed me how conditions can come up the place the well being of a complete group of individuals is ignored and marginalized. It highlighted for me why we’d like folks educated in public well being to make crucial coverage choices, folks who consider within the care of those communities.
After incomes my BA in public well being, I returned house to work on my MD at UC San Diego as a part of the PRIME Well being Fairness program. This system trains future physicians targeted on combating well being disparities of their communities and on this planet extra broadly. As a part of this program, we full a grasp’s diploma between years three and 4 of our medical faculty curriculum—and I knew I wished to attend Harvard Chan College for my grasp’s, to additional my information of well being coverage and to enhance high quality well being care entry for LGBTQ+ populations.
Finishing my Harvard Chan practicum undertaking at The Fenway Institute was simply the spotlight of my expertise on the College. I labored on a scientific literature assessment psychological well being care entry for LGBTQ+ elders. One in all our key findings was that supplier competency is absolutely missing relating to LGBTQ+ elder care. We additionally discovered that the extra impairments folks have by way of their psychological well being, the harder it’s for them to keep up each their HIV care appointments and their common care appointments. And a variety of LGBTQ+ older adults have much less familial help than their straight counterparts, as a result of a variety of them might not have a legally acknowledged partnership, or misplaced a long-term accomplice in the course of the AIDS epidemic. Not accessing these social helps makes it tougher for them to retain care, and in addition makes it extra possible that they’ll develop a psychological well being analysis.
One in all my favourite issues about Harvard Chan College has been getting to fulfill and work with folks in my well being coverage cohort. We’ve been doing socially distanced park hangouts for many of the yr, rain or shine—together with within the snow! The those who the College recruits are simply unbelievable, so with the ability to study from them and turn out to be buddies with them has been a spotlight. The identical factor goes for the Zuckerman Fellowship, which was a giant think about my determination to come back to the College. The folks in that cohort are leaders in several Harvard faculties throughout disciplines, however all of them have the identical dedication to public service and serving to underserved populations. They encourage me to maintain combating towards inequities, and to acknowledge the interdisciplinary options required for motion.
One hidden expertise of mine is that I sing Indian classical music. I’m half-Indian, half-white; my mother moved to the U.S. from India when she was 18. She discovered from a well-known classical singer in India, and he or she taught me and my brother methods to sing. I began studying fairly younger, like 5 or 6, and I’ve been singing ever since. Every time I’m going again to San Diego, I’ll make time to sing. I additionally simply do it for myself in my free time.
One thing folks may not learn about me is that I’m ranked among the many high 1% of Overwatch gamers worldwide. Overwatch is an immersive recreation that’s set in a sci-fi future universe. The sport is performed as an esport, which is principally skilled gaming. Proper earlier than I began medical faculty, I considered doubtlessly making an attempt out for a league to play professionally, however I went the medical faculty route as a substitute.
I restore Apple laptops and iPhones as a facet interest. I had a good friend in highschool who had a number of Mac computer systems that didn’t work. They had been sitting in his closet. I requested if I may check out them and take them aside, and he mentioned positive. I used on-line guides, put in just a few new parts and so they began working once more. Now if folks have iPhones that want a battery changed or a MacBook that has a loud fan, I’ll restore it. I discover it therapeutic to make use of my arms and strategize. The instruments it’s a must to use for restore are tiny. It’s nearly like surgical procedure.
My final technique to unwind is common train. It’s a should in the course of the pandemic. First I work out or go for a run, then I’d cool down with a online game—or a YouTube documentary a couple of online game.
– Karen Feldscher
photograph: Kent Dayton