Student Perspectives

The influence of healthcare policy on patient care by medical student Maya Firsowicz

Posted by Sheldon Rubenfeld on December 25, 2016

The medical profession’s status and its attitudes about patient care usually result from a negotiation between physicians, culture, and politicians. Students in my Healing by Killing: Medicine during the Third Reich are often shocked by Nazi physicians’ eugenic view of their patients and the subsequent elevation of their already high status in the political order. After learning of the indispensable role of the medical profession in the design and implementation of the Holocaust, medical student Maya Firsowicz asks, “….is there some aspect of medicine performed by physicians today that is not in the best interest of patients?” In particular she is concerned about constraints on the time physicians spend with patients and the focus of the healthcare system on “disease intervention rather than disease prevention and health promotion.” She hopes that by asking these questions medical students can “not only learn from the mistakes made by physicians of the past, but also to continue to uphold the true values of the profession of medicine.”


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