Patient Perspectives: What Inequity Means for Patients Everywhere

Health inequities can fracture the healthcare of individuals and entire communities.

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Rheumatoid arthritis has been a blessing and a curse for me. [MUSIC PLAYING]
We talk about, with Afshin, about the availability of insurance or lack thereof and the financial costs that are associated with these medications, right?
We talk about health literacy and just access in general, right? And we know that there's disparities
that lie within those autoimmune conditions and hope that she can shed some light on exactly what she's had to overcome within this industry.
Yeah. So I was actually diagnosed in 2019. Everybody that's ever heard of that disease,
it's usually somebody that they know that's much older. One of the first support groups I joined
was just all of these, you know, incredible women that were warriors, but they had nothing in common with me,
you know. I was only 18 years old. I was trying to figure out how I was going to go to college and work full-time and be
able to kind of navigate having a social life. But there was no information out there for that. And now, when I look at my community that, you know,
I've become a part of, there's just a lot more resources now, a lot more representation. And I feel like I would like to see that in my medical staff
as well. Like, having younger doctors kind of gives them a better perspective. Yeah, and it's one of those things,
again, don't see me for my disease. See me as a person, right? And what stage of life am I in at this moment in time?
And I can imagine, if your bones are aching from RA, with people looking at you and say, oh, she's young.
And how do we start to navigate a system or create a system that recognizes the total picture of a person?
For me, I was able to do a lot of advocacy work. As a part of that, I was able to get in some information about,
you know, maybe creating a list of, like, all of the different providers that were people of color who
could assist those who were seeking any providers that look like them or just had an understanding
of their condition. Really making efforts to really highlight the needs
that we're talking about today. In my line of work, we're dealing with the downstream effects of structural determinants
of health when we have patients that are presented to us that, you know, are not insured, or we have, you know, some governmental policies that
are adversely affecting our patients from a structural and equity standpoint. And then we deal with the downstream effects
of that in terms of social determinants of health and our patients just not being able to get to their appointments for treatment, our patients not
even understanding that there are certain treatment options out there because they're not offered those treatments. And so we have to realize that we have influence,
both on the patient end, and that intersects with the health care delivery, understanding barriers, including

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