Duke Students Discuss Duke Medical Ethics Journal
The Duke Medical Ethics Journal (DMEJ) was created in 2019 by a team of students who recognized the importance (and lack) of ethics education in their pre-medical undergraduate curriculum. The goal was to spark conversation on Duke’s campus, and beyond, so that prospective physicians might move past the notion that medicine as a field is a black and white science.
Each issue of DMEJ focuses on medical ethics issues tied to a specific theme. Past themes have included Patient Power, Challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis: Complications, Containment Concerns, and Health & Identity: Who We Are and the Care We Receive. The spring 2021 issue tackles the topic of Health and Identity.
“We are all a product of our culture and our values,” writes DMEJ spring 2021 co-presidents, Priya Meesa and Sibani Ram in the introduction of the latest edition. “Healthcare at its deepest level is not just about the biomedical model but it’s also about care, care for the culture and values that permeate the lives of its practitioners and patients…by highlighting stories of marginalized identities and considering how identity influences health, the journal hopes to advance this empathic model of care and improve outcomes for all.”
Priya explains, “DMEJ is innovative in that it looks beyond the focus of medicine, the treatment of patients, and investigates the ethical questions posed by healthcare. DMEJ gives neglected voices a platform and offers a new lens for readers to view pressing health issues through.”
“Despite all the uniquely challenging and unforgiving times of the COVID-19 pandemic, DMEJ has been the most rewarding part of my college experience as I am so deeply convinced that medical ethics has a transformative power — power to transform ourselves and the power to transform the structures through which we experience healthcare,” says Sibani.
Sibani Ram is a pre-med student and rising junior majoring in Evolutionary Anthropology with minors in English and Chemistry. Sibani is a health/science staff writer for The Chronicle, research assistant with the animal locomotion laboratory, volunteer at the Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and a member of the Kenan Institute of Ethics Living-Learning Community.
Priya Meesa is a rising junior premed student majoring in Biology & Global Health with a minor in English. She’s also involved with Bass Connections research on cervical cancer prevention, consulting for the Duke Writing Studio, volunteering with Root Causes, and a member of Duke's Partners in Health Engage organization.