Source: The News & Observer
As state Republicans push for abortion bans, medical students are joining doctors and medical professionals across the state who are sounding the alarm about the harmful impact of erasing the crucial reproductive health care option.
In North Carolina, nationally recognized schools such as UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University have produced some of the best doctors in the country. They have continuously ensured many students work in rural communities post-graduation.
However, with state Republicans targeting abortion care providers and medical professionals, the state may see fewer and fewer doctors.
“I think most of us are going to fight back, because I care about North Carolina, and I care about providing good care to North Carolinians,” stated Katherine Poulos, a UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine student, in a recent editorial. “I don’t want to leave, but you know, the general consensus is that a lot of us will, and that’s unfortunate.”
Out-of-state medical students who eyed North Carolina for its widely known medical programs are also reconsidering the move, as state Republicans may further criminalize abortions.
“What these state lawmakers are saying is that they’re going to prevent us from providing the best care to our patients,” stated Avanthi Jayaweera, a resident physician who moved from Virginia to attend a training program in North Carolina.
“They’re telling us to ignore all the guidelines, ignore the research trials, ignore what has been the gold standard of care and to just follow their recommendations blindly. Frankly, that is against everything that we stand for as physicians.”
The attacks by Republicans towards doctors and health care professionals come amid a growing shortage, in which the U.S. could see a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033. This growing gap in providers is expected to impact both primary- and specialty-care fields.
“Restrictions on health care are not only bad for medicine, but are pushing strong doctors-in-training away from our state,” wrote Jayaweera in an editorial piece at N.C. Policy Watch. “ Our country is already facing a physician shortage, the last thing we need is to push doctors away to other states”.
Currently, North Carolina remains a safeguard for abortion care access to millions across the southeast.