Hi everyone! My name is Rinal Dahhan and I’m a junior at Durham Academy. This is my first year back at DA after spending my middle school years here; for the first two years of high school I was living abroad in my home country of Saudi Arabia. It’s there that I interned with my mom in the Emergency Department at her hospital— King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center— and my passion for medical equity really took off. I saw Southeast Asian migrant workers not being treated the same way as Saudis, and true inequity in patient care.
When I was given the opportunity to study something I’m passionate about, I decided to couple my passions of creating spaces of equity for marginalized groups and medicine. Healthcare discrimination is still a huge problem in society today and I’d like to find solutions for the inequity that people face.
I’ve had a lifelong passion for integrating equity into more than just our words, but into our everyday actions and systems. After moving back to America, I noticed the deep racial inequity that pervaded the American healthcare system. There were patterns equivalent with the patterns I saw in Saudi with the migrant workers, except with black and indigenous Americans, and to some extent Americans of color. This disparity within healthcare is obviously a huge problem: healthcare is not a privilege that the select few have. It is a human right to be allowed to live without being plagued by diseases— so many are denied care because of the color of their skin, the status of their passport, the amount of money they make and not only is it ethically wrong, but it’s also a solvable issue that nobody wants to solve.
Thank you for coming along this journey with me!