The Friday Five 11.27.20

I hope you had a safe and fulfilling Thanksgiving yesterday! I stayed in my bubble to enjoy some delicious food, watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade (my favorite part is always the Broadway performances!), and relax with my latest read. Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving meal (which I hope we can all agree is not traditional based on the realities of 1620…), I created a menu of Asian-inspired dishes from the Dining In and Six Seasons cookbooks. Throw in some good wine and conversation, and it was the recharge I needed after spending my days on my psychiatry rotation. Here are some things that caught my eye this week!

Heck yes, I am here for Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as a co-chair of Biden’s Transition COVID Advisory Board. She is an associate professor of internal medicine, public health, and management at Yale University (talk about an expert!) with an upbringing on St. Thomas that opened her eyes to the structural barriers to health care and access. This interview with Vogue can’t be missed and I look forward to hearing more from her over the next few months/years.

I’ve said before that I almost went to law school so even as a medical student I try to appreciate how the law impacts the provision of health care and the lives of our patient’s. This incredible (free online!) series, “COVID-19 and The Law – Law and Policy to Address Basic Need and Marginalized Populations,” from Harvard Law brings it all together. You can watch all of the webinars here and read their blog for more.

I’m still grappling with my thoughts after finishing the latest cover article from The Atlantic. It looks at a pretty controversial and ethically fraught topic – prenatal screening and abortion in Denmark. I don’t want to influence anyone with my opinions, I’ll just say that I have many and some of them contradict one another. This is really worth taking the time to read.

No matter your feelings on the British royal family, you can’t deny that their loss of Meghan Markle is our gain. This week, she shared about a recent miscarriage with very un-royal-like openness in the New York Times. This comes on the heels of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend sharing about their heartbreaking loss in the later stages of pregnancy. Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are deeply personal and too often treated as taboo topics of conversation, perpetuating a cycle of shame and guilt and immense sadness, especially for women. The stories of Meghan and Chrissy certainly do not represent the experience of all women, but they should be seen as significant steps froward to lift the stigma and taboo on talking about loss more openly.

And speaking of royals, I finished The Crown last week and was equal parts appalled by and understanding of the behavior of the royal family towards Diana – when you have to suppress your emotions for your entire life and orbit around one person (the one wearing the crown…) of course it stunts your emotional growth and response to certain situations. This piece expresses many of my thoughts. I was too young to remember her before her death, but I felt like the show made me feel such sadness about how she was swept up into the life of a princess at just 19 with zero support or guidance and a husband who was seemingly opposed to everything she did. I’ve been listening to the deep dive podcast series on Diana from “You’re Wrong About” and recommend it to anyone who wants more context on the situation.

What has been your favorite read/listen/watch/discovery of the week?

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