Top 10 Healthcare Current Events For Medical School Interview

Top 10 Current Events You Need To Know For Your Medical Interview

Hello! We’ve updated our current events guide to reflect the healthcare current events you need to know for 2023 interviews. These current events will be helpful for college interviews, BS/MD interviews, medical school interviews, and residency interviews.

Top 10 healthcare current events

  1. COVID-19 and Effects on Health & Society
  2. Vaccinations
  3. United States Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
  4. Mental Health and Physician Burnout
  5. Gun Violence and Mass Shootings
  6. Abortion and Contraception
  7. Cultural Competence in Patient Care and Diversity in Healthcare
  8. End-of-life Care
  9. Opioid Crisis
  10. Artificial Intelligence and Applications to Healthcare

We are also putting our previous years’ current events on the “Other Current Events” section so you can read more. These current events are still important today!

Why should you know current events for your medical school interviews?

The importance of tuning in to your surroundings extends beyond the fact that current events may come up in your medical school interview. Reading the news and understanding the evolving healthcare landscape will broaden your perspective and make you an informed healthcare professional. Since medical schools are placing more emphasis on an applicant’s understanding of the world, our Cracking Med School Admissions team compiled a list of current event resources to help you ace your interview and become a better physician. Included with every topic are informative, high-yield articles and their summaries.

DOWNLOAD our complete Current Events Guide in order to get more article reads and details about each current event topic. The Current Events Guide includes:

  • Great articles to read to get a comprehensive understanding
  • Op-eds in our “Points and Counterpoints” sections so you can read different perspectives
  • Potential solutions to healthcare challenges

If you have any questions about current events and medical school interview preparation, email the Cracking Med School Admissions team at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us down below.

Top 10 Current Events For
Medical School Interviews 2023

Current Events Topic #1: COVID-19

Emerging in late 2019 in China before rapidly spreading across the entire world, COVID-19 has radically changed normal human interactions. Years later, COVID-19 is still in our lives. And, many applicants find many questions about COVID-19 – past and present issues – in their medical school applications and medical school interviews.

The significant lack of early knowledge resulted in many essential workers putting themselves in harm’s way to treat patients and preserve functionality while many researchers and biopharmaceutical companies worked to rapidly develop and deploy surveillance, therapeutics, and vaccine technologies at an unprecedented pace. The pandemic has also served as a philosophical referendum on the many divides that exist in our society.

Popular issues you should be familiar with surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • The role of physicians in public health
    • Mask mandates
    • COVID-19 vaccination mandates in hospitals, schools, and workplaces
    • Disparities in the healthcare system
    • Future pandemic preparedness
    • Public health messaging, including the spread of accurate information vs. misinformation
    • Long COVID-19

Points and counter points:

  • Should COVID-19 be addressed from political or scientific lens?

  • Are masks necessary to stop COVID-19 spread or an infringement on liberty?

Read articles and opinions about COVID-19 in our current events guide!

2023 Current Events Interview Guide

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Learn the top 10 current events you should know for your medical school interviews.
Current Events Topic #2: Vaccinations

Vaccines became the spotlight as countries raced to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Once COVID-19 vaccines became available, however, it sparked a debate around vaccine mandates.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a small but outspoken anti-vaccine (anti-vax) group in the United States. Many anti-vaxxers’ reasons of not receiving a vaccine center around personal choice, religious preferences, and freedom. Unfortunately, the spread of medical misinformation is still a cause of concern, as parents are worried about their children developing autism after vaccinations – even though this has been disproven several times over the decades.

Points and Counter Points:

  • What are the different viewpoints on vaccination mandates?

  

Current Events Topic #3: U.S. Healthcare System Affordable Care Act

The United States spends more on healthcare than other developed countries in the world. Despite this spending, there are still several individuals who do not have health insurance, and the life expectancy in the United States lags behind its peers. On the flip side, the United States is a leader in medical innovation and medical advancements.

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise called “Obamacare” or the “ACA,” is a contentious healthcare law passed in 2010 under the Obama Administration. The ACA is a crucial turning point in healthcare policy to be familiar with.  The legislation’s goal was threefold: 1) to democratize healthcare, 2) expand Medicaid, and 3) make innovative healthcare methods more accessible to those who could not previously afford them. The ACA has met significant political opposition for its allegedly socialist principles.

Get great articles about the United States healthcare system, including the pros and cons, in our current events guide

Mock Interviews: Refine your interview skills with us 1-on-1

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Undergraduate
Princeton

Medical School
Stanford

Residency
Harvard, Emergency Medicine

Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA
Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Undergraduate
Johns Hopkins

Medical School
Stanford

Residency
Stanford, Pediatrics

Current Events Topic #4: Mental Health and Physician Burnout

With the proliferation of a digitally connected, but increasingly isolated world, suicide rates and mental illness have been becoming more common among adolescents in America. Since 1960, suicide rates among 15- to 24-year-olds have nearly tripled while access to mental health services remains limited. Solutions for the mental health crisis include finding ways to increase access to mental health services along with more awareness and prevention. 

Physician burnout is also a concern. 44% of physicians are suffering from burnout according to the American Medical Association research. Read potential solutions in our current events guide.

How can the healthcare system alleviate the mental health epidemic?

  • Read this brief article by the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy to find out

2023 Current Events Interview Guide

Med-School-Admissions-Interview-Guide---Top-10-Current-Events-348x426

Learn the top 10 current events you should know for your medical school interviews.

Current Events Topic #5: Gun Violence & Mass Shootings

Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the United States. Sadly, mass shootings have also frequented the news; 2022 is one of the worst years on record for the number of mass shootings, according to gunviolencearchive.org. Some Americans want stricter gun control laws while others do not. What are solutions to decrease deaths from firearms and to decrease mass shootings?

Points and Counter Points:

Should we have stricter gun control policies in America?

Current Events Topic #6: Abortion and Contraception

Women’s health is another contentious topic in American politics. It has been debated for almost a century, after the establishment of Planned Parenthood, an organization for reproductive services, in 1916. Popular issues around this topic include: abortion (including the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1973 Roe v. Wade), contraception accessibility, the history of the Hyde Amendment, and women’s rights regarding their own health. Understanding the legislative history behind the Hyde Amendment and Roe v. Wade is key to understanding the political context of abortion in America. Furthermore, abortion and contraception have spurred a discussion on what constitutes “the start of life” and how this could affect women’s ability to make independent choices.

Current Events Topic #7: Diversity in Healthcare and Culturally Competent Care

Cultural competency is a critical component of patient care. A physician’s awareness of the whole patient, including a patient’s cultural background and how it impacts medical decision-making, assists the therapy a physician may provide. According to Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, associate professor at Brown University, lack of cultural competence among medical professionals can undermine the doctor-patient dynamic as a patient will be less likely to trust the doctor and be onboard with their treatment plan. The roles of stereotyping and generalizations are increasingly discussed in health care settings and taught in medical schools to raise cultural awareness and improve patient care. Furthermore, there has been an emphasis on increasing the diversity of individuals in healthcare in order to increase understanding and awareness of different backgrounds and how best to assist a patient in improving.

Medical schools and hospitals are also promoting diversity in the workplace. Female physicians are voicing discrimination they face in attaining healthcare leadership positions, and there is still prejudice towards female and minority doctors. Microaggression and biases are commonplace.

Being aware of these problems in healthcare is a great first step in helping to make the physician profession more equitable.

2023 Current Events Interview Guide

Learn the top 10 current events you should know for your medical school interviews.

Current Events Topic #8: End-of-life Care

How do we take care of individuals who are nearing the end of their lives? End-of-life care is used to discuss how we take care of sick patients, who may have exhausted all their treatment options. One aspect of end-of-life care is palliative care. According to the WHO, palliative care is defined as care “that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” Palliative care and a physician’s role in it is an often-debated topic in our society.

The ethics of palliative care are debated because it involves physician assisted suicide, which some people oppose because it opposes a fundamental dictum of the Hippocratic Oath — “do no harm” while others see it as prolonging a painful life as a violation of the same dictum. Many U.S. states have also taken vastly different stances, with eight states protecting “Death with Dignity” while others ban physician assisted suicide altogether.

Current Events Topic #9: Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis, which entails the over-prescription and abuse of opioid-class pain medication, began in the 1990s and has been exacerbated by profit-minded pharmaceutical companies and physicians. Consequently, patients are becoming addicted to opioids and other substances pain-relieving substances like heroin and fentanyl. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die daily due to opioid abuse in the United States. 

Points and Counter Points:

  • Are opioids good or bad for patients?
Current Events Topic #10: Intersection of AI and healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a relatively new phenomenon in medicine and has transformed healthcare delivery and medical research. Although AI provides significant benefits from the rapid acquisition and processing of data to improve diagnoses and treatment, it simultaneously suffers from the lack of personal touch in a field that is founded upon on human interaction and bedside manner. It is important to stay current with this rapidly evolving and innovative field.  

Dr. Rachel Rizal wrote an article for U.S. News, Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare – What Premeds Should Know

Practice Medical School Interviews with the Cracking Med Team!

Mock Interviews: Refine your interview skills with us 1-on-1

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Undergraduate
Princeton

Medical School
Stanford

Residency
Harvard, Emergency Medicine

Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA
Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Undergraduate
Johns Hopkins

Medical School
Stanford

Residency
Stanford, Pediatrics

Other Current Events

Here are other current events from previous years, but we think these are still relevant and important! 

Healthcare Disparities and Black Lives Matter

Healthcare disparities refer to differences in health between groups that are closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Disparities occur across many dimensions, including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, location, gender, disability status, and sexual orientation, and not only affect the groups facing disparities, but also limit overall gains in quality of care and health for the broader population and result in unnecessary costs. With the recent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following multiple police-related deaths in the U.S., there has been renewed focus on ensuring equality of access and treatment in healthcare.

Good Article Reads:

If you are looking for a comprehensive overview of data-backed research on the prevalence of healthcare disparities in the U.S, refer to the above issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the effects of healthcare disparities have been clearly revealed in this article that traces the history of disparities and how they impact current day healthcare

With the emergence of value-based care, this article describes how Black Lives Matter can be a watershed moment to reduce healthcare disparities

Potential solutions

What challenges exist in addressing disparities?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1495060/

What are solutions to address healthcare disparities?

Vaping & E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are now the most popular form of tobacco use among youth in America. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the number of middle and high schoolers jumped from 2.7 to 3.6 million between 2017 and 2018. While the long-term effects of vaping are still ambiguous due to its novelty, growing concern about its adverse effects exists. Recent reports by the CDC, such as this one, link vaping to lung disease and warns against it e-cigarette use.

Prescription Drug Pricing

Whether they are commonplace medications to reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke or moonshot treatments for seemingly incurable disease, these interventions are necessary to keep patients healthy and are used by nearly 60% of Americans. Unfortunately, prices for prescription drugs have soared in recent years, with drug manufacturers launching products with high prices and raising the prices of routinely used drugs by double-digit rates, placing a severe burden on patients with insurance companies increasingly reluctant to foot the bill.

Good Article Reads:

If you want to learn more about the increasing importance and political dynamics of prescription drug pricing, consider looking into the above overview from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

If you want to learn more about one of the more notable and insidious instances of pharmaceutical price-hiking, read through the above article on Turing Pharmaceuticals and its price increase on daraprim.

This article breaks down the cost drivers for pharmaceutical drug prices and what actions that can be taken to improve access and affordability.

Points and Counter Points:

Can pharmaceutical companies justify the high cost of their projects on the basis of funding research and development?

No: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/drug-prices-high-cost-research-and-development/585253/

Yes: https://www.statnews.com/2019/12/23/debate-over-us-drug-pricing-system-time-to-face-reality/

Microbiome

There is a lot of discovery yet to come all the bacteria in our gut, otherwise known as the microbiome, and how they are connected to various diseases.  Additionally, researchers in recent years have been investigating the difference between our gut and our brain, known as the gut-brain axis. The foods affect our microbiomes, and consequently can affect our physical, mental, and emotional well-beings.  This article is a great primer for understanding the microbiome and how it may affect our health. 

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