The Wright Center’s residency program keeps advocacy at the core — Patrick Kinner and Nickia King, DO

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Elizabeth Metraux is having two thoughtful conversations at Unity Health Care in Washington, DC, a Teaching Health Center connected with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. She speaks with Patrick Kinner and Dr. Nickia King about the gap between what is taught in medical schools and the realities of daily practice, particularly the social determinants of health.


Patrick Kinner is an evaluator with the Vermont Department of Health and the Center for Behavioral Health Integration, where he lends his evaluation expertise to statewide and national population health initiatives. Patrick shares his views on medical school programs, burnout, and the length healthcare providers go to take care of patients.


Nickia King, DO, is a third-year family medicine resident at Unity Health Care. She discusses her experience as a Wright Center resident working in community healthcare, the role of advocacy in care, and ways providers can address the myriad problems of illness that go far beyond the walls of the clinic.


This episode aims to raise awareness about the work of Teaching Health Centers, a crucial part of the solution for moving American healthcare forward. Listen to this inspiring episode for a fresh perspective and a promising future for healthcare.


Key takeaways:

[:30] Partnership with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education.

[2:05] Teaching Health Centers’ purpose and impact.

[2:30] Unity Health Care

[4:21] Patrick Kinner’s work motivation.

[5:14] Bringing a family residency program into underserved areas.

[6:15] Consistent themes nationwide.

[7:31] Difference between what school prepares you for and what your actual job is.

[8:22] Medicals schools are not well-equipped to be nimble and change.

[8:53] Differences between DO and MD programs.

[10:22] Burnout and professional disengagement

[11:30] Reaching a saturation point.

[12:37] Mental health clinicians’ burnout rates.

[16:02] Patrick Kinner’s insights about himself as a patient.

[20:16] Healthcare providers have been self-diagnosed and self-treated for decades, as well as treating issues that should not be presented to them.

[22:04] Big public institutions reflect the community that they are in.

[23:58] Nickia career briefing.

[24:18] What brought Nickia into medicine?

[24:50] Washington, DC living experience.

[26:08] Why working at a community health center?

[28:23] Focusing on advocacy

[28:57] Nickia started teaching in health centers.

[31:12] Access to healthy food, safety, and education.

[32:45] What ought we to do as providers? Take care of the whole person.

[34:22] Social determinants of health.

[34:56:] Statistics about black individuals’ health.

[36:44] Prison population

[38:43] What did the experience in DC teach Nickia about herself?

[40:01] Nickia starting to work in the prison system.

[40:52] Crying for the first time with a patient.

[44:24] Treating both the illness and the illness experience.

[44:59] Humanism in medicine.

[46:50] Coming from a long line of strong women.

[48:47] Seven months away from getting out of residency, what are Nickia’s plans for the future?

[49:37] Preventing burnout.

[50:07] What does Nickia wish she would have known in her first year of residency?

[52:06] Advice to young black women who are considering a career in medicine.


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Wright Center

Relational Rounds at Primary Care Progress

Primary Care Progress on Twitter

Elizabeth Metraux on Twitter

Check out this episode!


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