LUCOM student-doctor meets with elected officials, advocates for cancer rehabilitation
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) third-year student-doctor Tahsin Choudhury met with Delegate T. Scott Garrett, MD and Delegate Jason S. Miyares in Richmond, on Monday, Jan. 21, in an effort to advocate for cancer rehabilitation.
The American Cancer Society established appointments for Choudhury to speak directly with the elected officials about the importance of quality care for cancer patients. “I was at a conference for physiatry back in October and learned about cancer rehabilitation,” he said. “I was moved by the passion the physical medicine and rehabilitation community had towards making a difference in the lives of cancer patients; especially because I recalled my father struggling with pancreatic cancer.”
Choudhury strongly believes that there needs to be more advocacy work done for a cancer survivor’s quality of life after treatment for cancer. “As physicians we must not only treat the cancer; we must treat the whole patient and prepare them for life after cancer,” he added.
After Choudhury presented to the delegates, they asked him to speak during their House of Delegates meeting later that afternoon, where he gave a brief synopsis of why lawmakers should be focused on cancer rehabilitation from an economic stand point. “If people are unaware of the struggles that cancer survivors deal with from a functional standpoint, there will be no change,” he said.
For Choudhury, advocacy is important because it raises awareness. He believes and hopes that advocacy changes medicine from a macroscopic standpoint so that the lives of cancer survivors can get better physically from a microscopic standpoint.
“I hope to inspire [my] future patients by helping them see that physicians view them as individuals and not simply as disease processes – to inspire them by making them feel cared for, and by working to improve their quality of life,” said Choudhury. “I have learned that as physicians and future physicians, we have an obligation to advocate for our patients, so that their lives may be better tomorrow than it was today.”
Choudhury plans to join his classmates and faculty in Washington D.C. on March 5, for DO Day on Capitol Hill, advocating for cancer rehabilitation and the advancement of the Osteopathic profession.