Healthcare for All
Christine Lee chose the B.S., Life Sciences/D.O. Osteopathic Medicine program because she wanted to get an early start in her medical school training. “The program is structured to allow students to matriculate into medical school a year early,” she says. “Having the privilege of serving in the medical field earlier was the main reason why I chose my major.” Lee is working on research with Professor and Chair of Biological and Chemical Sciences Michael Hadjiargyrou, Ph.D., on the functionalities of Mustn1, a gene expressed predominantly in the musculoskeletal system that plays a role in bone fracture repair. Outside of the classroom, she serves as a women’s health clinic escort to safely chaperone patients seeking women’s health resources without confrontation or harm from protestors. She sat down with The Box to talk about her plans for the future and why more women should pursue careers in medicine.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I hope to become an emergency medicine physician with a focus on health policy and global health. Now more than ever, we can see the interconnectivity of our international health systems and the need for health policy that is equitable for everyone. In the future, I aspire to become a health professional that can address the needs of my community and beyond.
We celebrated International Day of the Girl in October. What does that day mean to you?
To me, International Day of the Girl represents the acknowledgment of female adversities, recognition for needed gender equality, and the celebration of intersectional feminism.
Is there a female faculty member at New York Tech who inspires you?
I am inspired by Dr. Jole Fiorito, Ph.D. In a largely male-dominated department, Dr. Fiorito remains a prominent influence not only in her academic courses but in her novel research as well. She encourages all of her students to be curious and continues to be a role model for everyone.
Do you think there should be more women in medicine?
There should be more women in the medical field not only to increase representation but to address the gender inequities, the engrained sexism, and the implicit biases related to the under-evaluation of female physicians in our current healthcare system. Not only do we need more women in the field of medicine, but major reforms to address our current system’s inadequacies regarding gender should be a priority. The history of medicine largely excludes women, but when we start to promote inclusion and address the respect gap, we come one step closer to a form of medicine that is equitable for everyone.
How are you helping young women find their voice?
Our Doctors Without Borders student chapter works to address the inequities of our current healthcare system and promote awareness towards the most pressing issues in medicine. The gender disparities that continue to pervade the medical field are no different. By providing spaces for students to meaningfully discuss, collaboratively learn and begin to advocate for medicine that addresses the concerns of all women, we are helping young women not only find their voice but find their place in the medical field.