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What's Health Got to Do with It?

The rise of the physician-citizen; Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

LGBTQ+ advocates gathered before the June 7 Duval school board meeting.
Claire Heddles
LGBTQ+ advocates gathered before the June 7 Duval school board meeting.

Traditionally, medical school training focused on topics like anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, surgery, internal medicine and many similar disciplines, but in 2022, some doctors say these subjects are not enough anymore.

COVID-19 and health inequity reckonings have upended how medicine is practiced. There is a new focus on the upstream parts of health such as housing, food, employment and education, because these issues have a greater impact on disease prevention and management than some of the amazing surgeries, technologies and medications that are now available; however, these issues are under the purview of policy, law and government. As such, many health outcomes are controlled upstream. That begs the question what exactly is the role of the doctor and or other health providers in modern society?

One potential role is looking at doctors as physician-citizens. This means that medical professionals extend their sphere of influence from daily practice into the public arena. This is not for power’s sake, but for the sake of community health.


  • Swapna Reddy, Public Policy and Diversity, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University.
  • Dr. Charles Flippen, Richard D and Ruth P Walter Professor of Clinical Neurology, vice chair of education and neurology residency director, UCLA.
  • Jennifer Cowart, The Doctavist, hospitalist in Jacksonville.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

On June 8, pop singer Justin Bieber canceled several concerts as part of his North American tour due to a severe case of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which led to the one side of his face becoming paralyzed. This suddenly placed a spotlight on a little-known syndrome outside the medical world.

Guest: Jennifer Dixon, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome survivor.

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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.