Welcome to Social Medicine On Air, a podcast where we explore the field of social medicine with healthcare practitioners, activists, and researchers. Social medicine hopes to work for a world of justice and health - especially for the most marginalized - and connects clinical care to the deeper causes of health and illness. Through our conversational interviews, we hope to create a warm and welcoming space to learn about social medicine and meet the amazing people you'll find there.
Our team: Jonas Attilus, Sebastian Fonseca, Raghav Goyal, Brendan Johnson, Leila Sabbagh, and Poetry Thomas.
26 | Grounding Communication in Equity | Dr. Anne Marie Liebel
SMOA Survey: bit.ly/SMOAsurvey
In what ways do our personal biases seep into our conversations with others? How does the structure of our language impact the reception of the information we are trying to share? In the era of digital medicine and health misinformation, how can we ensure we are communicating effectively with our patients? Anne Marie Liebel attacks questions like these in today’s episode of SMOA.
Dr. Liebel is the president of Health Communication Partners LLC, the host of the “10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication” podcast series, and the administrator of HealthCommunicationPartners.com. She is writing a book about health literacy from a critical social perspective.
To learn more, check out:
What Counts as Literacy in Health Literacy: Applying the Autonomous and Ideological Models of Literacy
25 | Deep Medicine | Rupa Marya & Raj Patel
SMOA Survey: bit.ly/SMOAsurvey
Raj Patel and Rupa Marya join on this episode to draw the links between physical inflammation, injustice, decolonizing medicine, and the relationship between human and non-human flourishing. They discuss environmental racism, political economy and capitalism, the way that inflammation modulates social and biological health, reductive Enlightenment science, the need for decolonized care, and what deep healing looks like. Their new book is Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice (2021).
Raj Patel is an author, film-maker, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and protested against them around the world. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing, as well as co-author of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. He co-directed the documentary The Ants & The Grasshopper.
Rupa Marya is a physician, activist, artist and writer who is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, the founder of the Do No Harm Coalition, and the founder and executive director of the Deep Medicine Circle, a worker-directed nonprofit committed to healing the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story, learning and restoration. In addition to her work in medicine and writing, Rupa is also the composer and front-woman for Rupa and the April Fishes.
Animation Video (3:18) for Inflamed: bit.ly/3B4Zp6y
Video (28:28): Health and Justice: The Path of Liberation through Medicine (Rupa Marya): bit.ly/3a0xXLe
Synopses of Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2021):
Prasad A, "Inflamed by Rupa Marya and Raj Patel review – Modern Medicine's Racial Divide," The Guardian (2021), bit.ly/3nQWUkp
Jones S, "The Public Body: How Capitalism Made The World Sick," The Nation (2021), bit.ly/3lLHlYu
(Disclaimer: at the request of the podcast, two free pre-print copies of the book were supplied by FSG in preparation for this episode)
Group Meditations: It Takes a Village
Link to SMOA listener survey: bit.ly/SMOAsurvey
For the very first time (!), we have the ENTIRE SMOA team here to address the question: “Are you exempt from social justice work when you’re off the clock?”
This week’s episode is dedicated to Nath Clarke and their legacy of activism. In honor of Nath’s work, all donations to this GoFundMe will go to Southern Solidarity, a black, queer-led grassroots organization that delivers food, medical resources, and basic needs directly to people experiencing homelessness in downtown New Orleans. Please consider donating if you can.
24 | Resisting Domestic, Market, and State Violence | Anna Mullany
Content warning: today's episode discusses domestic violence.
We also appreciate your patience with this episode as we know it is a few weeks behind our usual schedule! Thank you all for your support.
Short SMOA listener story: bit.ly/smoasurvey
In this episode, Anna Mullany discusses the interrelationship between domestic abuse, capitalism and political economy, patriarchy, and the teaching of social medicine. She discusses the history of the anti-domestic violence movement, the violence of the state, the rise of the carceral state, and the 'social problem apparatus.' She also shares stories from students learning about structural violence and social medicine in the classroom. In combining the micro and macro, she points a way towards emancipation for all.
Anna Mullany is a 4th year doctoral student at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of MA Amherst. The focus of her doctoral work is on rural intimate partner violence and social services. Taking a political economic perspective, she looks at how the structural determinants of health determine people's wellbeing and daily lives within capitalism. She is committed to investigating how we create a truly equitable world in which health for all is a reality. She teaches courses on "Health Communication" and "Population Health and Imperialism" to undergraduates in the Public Health Department at UMass Amherst. Additionally, she is on faculty with the Spark Teacher Education Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Prior to her doctoral studies she worked for 6 years at the Women’s Freedom Center in Brattleboro, VT – a crisis center responding to intimate partner violence. Anna also serves as a one of the hosts of Indigo Radio, a weekly radio show on the Brattleboro Community Radio Station WVEW, broadcasts of which focus on connecting local and global issues.
Harvey M. How Do We Explain the Social, Political, and Economic Determinants of Health? A Call for the Inclusion of Social Theories of Health Inequality Within U.S.-Based Public Health Pedagogy. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. 2020;6(4):246-252. bit.ly/3iNgzNX
Gimenez, M. Capitalism and the Oppression of Women: Marx Revisited. Science & Society, 2005;69(1), 11-32. bit.ly/3kTxbGA
Waitzkin, H. "The Social Origins of Illness: A Neglected History" in The Second Sickness: Contradictions of Capitalist Health Care (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). bit.ly/3eUsJU5
Brown TM, Fee E. Rudolf Carl Virchow: medical scientist, social reformer, role model. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(12):2104-5. bit.ly/3x5cObK
Indigo Radio, bit.ly/3kU4iu3
Spark Teacher Education, bit.ly/3BBRcr7
23 | Good Systems Save Lives | Agnes Binagwaho
Link to SMOA listener survey: bit.ly/SMOAsurvey
We're joined today by the incredible Agnes Binagwaho, who speaks with us about gender equity and religion before, during, and after the colonial era, the positive power of institutions like the University of Global Health Equity, the importance of teaching leadership and implementation science, and the importance of good systems in care for the most vulnerable. She talks about demystifying healthcare systems, explaining how Rwanda has seen some of the fastest declines in mortality in human history, the importance of human rights, and the importance of trust, accountability, and community (including community health workers). "Tell the truth!"
Agnes Binagwaho MD, M(Ped), PhD is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, the former Minister of Health of Rwanda and former Professor of Global Health Equity at UGHE. She also is a trained pediatrician, Senior Lecture at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a member of the US National Academy of Medicine and the African Academy of Sciences, and was Co-Chair of the UN task force on the Millennium Development Goals Project for HIV/AIDS and Access to Essential Medicines (among many, many other positions).
Resources related to this episode:
A. Binagwaho "How Women are Revolutionizing Rwanda" (TED Talk, 2020), bit.ly/3w5hOxB
A. Binagwaho "Lessons from Rwanda's Journey to an Equitable Health System" (TED Talk, 2017), bit.ly/3znfhRw
Farmer P E et al. Reduced premature mortality in Rwanda: lessons from success. BMJ 2013, bit.ly/2TSvuOj
Binagwaho A et al. Rwanda 20 years on: investing in life. Lancet 2014, bit.ly/3cv7N58
Sunday Meditations: Trusting Transitions, Not Postponing Joy, and the Racialization of Wellness
Hello SMOA family! We are trying something new! In addition to our bi-weekly podcast releases (which we attempt to keep evergreen and not overly current), we are going to try recording some sessions with just the SMOA team responding to the world and what is on our minds. We begin with a guided meditation, then kinda just let the ramble ramble. Join us to hear us talk about transitions (both wanted and unwanted), not postponing joy, and the racialization of wellness.
If you guys like this format, please let us know. If not, also please let us know!
Grateful for all of you. Take care of yourselves. And take some naps!!
SMOA's recommended songs for transitions:
Prince, "Let's Pretend We're Married" - youtu.be/KXkCtFo4ttI
Mandolin Orange, "Golden Embers" - youtu.be/fEt2lf7L13g
Peter Mayer, "Japanese Bowl" - youtu.be/qOAzobTIGr8
Angie Stone, "No More Rain (In This Cloud)" - youtu.be/UgG0Hu_FeiA
Nina Simone, "Feelin' Good" - youtu.be/D5Y11hwjMNs
One of the Best!
One of the best podcasts out there for helping medical students and physicians understand the limits of a medicalized framework for illness/health. Fascinating conversations with a wide array of scholars, activists, and physicians trying to reimagine health.
Viva la revolución!
Great to hear these champions of justice interview social medicine practitioners. Brilliant discussions!!
As an educator/artist who also does work as a standardized patient this podcast is a wealth of conversations and insight into how to support the learning of current medical students and also think through how I can better advocate for patients through my work.