Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 14, 2024

Opinion | Column

The Policy Perspective Column Graphic
Column

The Policy Perspective: Reasons to hope

|

I’ve spent the last year writing columns about how U.S. public policy can be improved. From housing to public transportation to education to climate change, there are many areas where we can do better. For my last edition of this ...


The Policy Perspective Column Graphic
Column

The Policy Perspective: Blue states are floundering

Clean energy is a core part of the Democratic Party’s platform. The 2020 Democratic Party platform calls for building a “globally competitive clean energy economy”[a]. Yet in 2024, the state with the most installed solar infrastructure is not New York or California, where Democrats dominate state government, but Texas, a Republican-controlled state[b]. This isdespite billions of dollars spent by California’s state government to invest in solar[c].


The Casual Death of Education Column graphic (UPDATED)
Column

The Casual Death of Education: The failures of American sex education

Public education isn’t all about math and reading. There are many other topics students need to experience and learn about to become healthy and functioning members of society. With discourse around sex education becoming increasingly common, we must understand what adequate and competent education concerning sex looks like for America’s youth. However, the state of sex education in our public education system is in shambles and the public must take notice and address the ever-expanding problem.


Graphic for deeksha bathini article “from classroom to clinic”
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: Massachusetts and mental health parity

During my psychiatry rotation at Tufts Medical Center, I found myself in the emergency room, helping determine whether a patient should be involuntarily hospitalized. The task of committing someone against their will is riddled with ethical dilemmas. Throughout my medical education, the notion of patient autonomy stands paramount to any other ethical principle. But, in the ER, the tenet completely unravels.


The Casual Death of Education Column graphic (UPDATED)
Column

The Casual Death of Education: As students vanish, so does the future

When I was in middle school, I became seriously sick due to an asthma attack. While I recovered relatively well, I continued to use my sickness to persuade my parents to let me stay home which resulted in me missing weeks of school. While I felt great about not having to listen to my teachers or learn algebra, the results were predictable: I failed most of my classes during the last quarter of seventh grade. The ramifications of my actions continue to this day, as I struggle deeply with math because I skipped so many days of class back in seventh grade. My experience is not unique; chronic absenteeism, as this phenomenon is called, is a persistent problem for millions of American students.



Ukraine At War
Column

Ukraine at War: Oscar-winning film shines a light on the darkest parts of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine

On March 7, the International Relations Program at Tufts hosted an intimate screening of the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Days in Mariupol.” The film reveals a unique first-person perspective of the siege of a Ukrainian port city of almost 500,000 residents by the Russian army in the spring of 2022. Director Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and producer Vasilisa Stepanenko were the last remaining journalists who stayed in the area during the initial stages of the full-scale invasion and were thus able to capture the war crimes committed by the Russians in Ukraine.


The Casual Death of Education Column graphic (UPDATED)
Column

The Casual Death of Education: Publicly funded private schools

American politicians often lambast so-called shadow governments and praise the necessity of accountability in politics. Yet, what if I were to tell you that there is a parallel system in the U.S. primarily supported by the rich and powerful, with little transparency and actively funded by the U.S. ...


Graphic for deeksha bathini article “from classroom to clinic”
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: Is medicine a calling or a job? Why not both?

This week, I attended a Grand Rounds lecture centered around Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum’s New England Journal of Medicine piece titled “On Calling — From Privileged Professionals to Cogs of Capitalism?” In this paper, Rosenbaum highlights the intergenerational shifts occurring in medical training wherein medical trainees are viewing medicine as a job rather than a calling.


The Causal Decline of Education column graphic
Column

The Casual Death of Education: Lots of children left behind

Imagine that you are a kid in middle school, and you are struggling with algebra. You go in, take a midterm and score a C. Not bad, but also not great. To improve your next test score, you’re hoping to receive some extra attention from the teacher and maybe some out-of-class tutoring. Now imagine if none of those things happen. Instead, your school is closed, your teachers have been fired and you must move to another school. Unfortunately, this isn’t an imaginary situation, it is the reality being lived by millions of American students and teachers at this very moment.



Graphic by Charlene Tsai
Column

The Policy Perspective: What caused the inflation crisis?

In June of 2022, inflation hit a 40-year record high, with consumer prices rising 9.1% over the course of one year. It surpassed economists' expectations and captured rising costs in everything from rent to automobiles, particularly in food and energy. Understandably, the magnitude of the inflation spike sparked a debate as to what was responsible for such high levels of inflation.


The Casual Death of Education Column graphic (UPDATED)
Column

The Casual Death of Education: What is the point of public education?

I started this column to discuss the ongoing collapse of America’s educational system in the face of limited funding, lack of parental involvement and bad policies. But before we get to any of that we must address a very serious question: Why do we have a taxpayer funded mandatory public education system in the first place?


From Classroom to Clinic Column Graphic
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: End-of-life conversations — there’s empathy in foresight

Palliative care is a unique sector of medicine that treats patients with terminal diseases. Palliative care physicians have conversations with families to identify patient wishes, particularly when they are facing death. These physicians are equipped with training that emphasizes empathy, comfort and patient autonomy. Freedom of choice during the dying process gives patients the power to reclaim their agency amidst a process rife with uncertainty.


Ukraine At War
Column

Ukraine at War: Two families killed in a Russian attack in Kharkiv

Taking a psychoanalysis class this semester brought me to a frightening realization — most of the dreams that I remember upon waking up are war-related nightmares. The dreams have a repetitive plot that always revolves around the aftermath of Russian attacks: burned-down buildings and dying family members. On Feb. 10, when a Russian drone attack caused the fire that killed at least seven people in Kharkiv, that dream partially came true.


Policy Perspective Column Graphic (updated)
Column

The Policy Perspective: Fund the IRS

If there’s one thing that many Americans can agree on, it’s that they dislike the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service is a federal agency responsible for collecting and administering federal taxes. The IRS primarily ensures that everyone pays their taxes, often by auditing individuals or businesses, and processes requests for tax refunds. It’s understandable the IRS is not popular, especially as 56% of Americans feel their tax burden is unfair and a majority state that the complexity of the American tax system “bothers them a lot.”


From Classroom to Clinic Column Graphic
Column

Diet drugs: A paradigm shift in weight management?

Ever since Ozempic took center stage, it’s been hard to look away. In my family medicine clinic, it seems like every patient is inquiring about weight loss drugs. These drugs seem like little miracles stuffed in once-per-week injectable pens, boasting weight loss of up to 34 pounds after about a year of treatment. We know that obesity is dangerous. I recall the exhaustive lectures on how excess adiposity increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and death. Now, we have this drug that seems like a cure for obesity, an issue that ravages about 2 in 5 adults in the United States.