I haven’t really left medical school. I’m actually on a hiatus that may run anywhere from a few more months (should we fail) to an indefinite number of years (should we succeed). But I loved and still love medicine. Even as I expose myself to more and diverse fields of study and work, I don’t see a future for myself where I am not engaging, uplifting and suffering with people in their darkest days. I say ‘people’ not as if I don’t use the word, ‘patient’, multiple times per day. I use it in writing because medicine is most satisfying to me when I am afforded time away from the hospital, like now, to see people determined to live happy, fulfilling lives in spite of the disease labeling and objectifying that we as healthcare providers do. 

Love of medicine, like all love, is also frustrating. There are so many tragedies in American healthcare and smoking is just one amongst them. But smoking is my main b****. I chose it and it chose me.

Smoking and its effective treatments are extremely well-studied and -understood . But the standard of care is rarely delivered in the hospital and, perhaps less, in the community setting. It seems so intuitive to me now to combine counseling and/or peer support with any one of our seven first-line drugs. Addiction becomes a new way of life and its treatment ought to be as much medicine as lifestyle change. But red tape, scheduling delays, high costs and healthcare provider fatigue all factor into its non-delivery.

The idea behind the Q-Cigarettes Program is to deliver combination therapy in an equitable and tech-centered way that unburdens the Quitter, the Sponsor and the healthcare provider.

More blog posts to come!

Drew Park