May 30, 2019

Around the nation: Meet the medical student who has undergone 6 brain surgeries since college

Daily Briefing

    Claudia Martinez, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Houston, says her experience has been "a blessing in disguise" because of what she's learned about the patient experience, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

    • Missouri: Planned Parenthood said it expects it will have to shut down its clinic—the last abortion clinic in the state—this week. CBS News reports that the state on May 20 informed Planned Parenthood of three issues that could impact license renewal. Planned Parenthood has said it would address two of those issues, including who delivers state-mandated counseling and giving an additional pelvic exam for abortion patients. Planned Parenthood said the third matter—the state's request to interview seven physicians for "deficient practices"—is beyond its control because the clinic can only offer to do that for two of the physicians that it employs, not the remaining five, according to a clinic spokesperson. Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen has characterized the investigation as an intimidation tactic. If the health department does not renew the license by May 31, Missouri will become the first state without a clinic that provides abortions since the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, according to The Hill (McCammon, NPR, 5/28; Helmann/Rodrigo, The Hill, 5/28; Smith, CBS News, 5/28).

    • Pennsylvania: The Department of Defense has awarded Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine four-year contracts to establish trauma care systems to treat and stabilize injured soldiers in remote locations. Carnegie Mellon will receive $3.5 million through the contract while the University of Pittsburgh will receive $3.71 million (Dietsche, MedCity News, 5/28).

    • Texas: Before embarking on her medical school journey, Claudia Martinez, a 28-year-old fourth-year medical student at the University of Houston, was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation—a dangerous condition that causes brain tissue to stretch into the spinal canal. Since her diagnosis, Martinez has undergone six major brain surgeries and had to relearn how to walk and move her limbs after a stroke. Martinez said the experience has been "a blessing in disguise" because of what she's learned about the patient experience. "I want to work with a population of individuals whose worth and potential is often overlooked and be their advocate. I want to help them see that even though it may be a little different, life can be beautiful again," she said (Hahn, People, 5/28; Parke, Fox News, 5/27).

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