Health Equity

Healthcare Brew’s Kristine White discusses health equity

From digital biases to telehealth access, health equity will be a key reporting focus.
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· 3 min read

On Fridays, we schedule our rounds with Healthcare Brew readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

This week’s Making Rounds spotlights Kristine White, the latest reporter to join our team at Healthcare Brew. White, who is based in Seattle, discusses how growing up in a family of healthcare workers affects her coverage and the topics she’s most interested in learning more about in the future.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Why did you decide to become a healthcare reporter?

I come from a long line of Filipino nurses. Most of my family is working in nursing or working in home care. Growing up, I remember there were some times where I’d run out of children’s books to read, and I’d read my mom’s medical textbooks. I’ve always had some kind of interest in health.

My parents probably wanted me to become a doctor, but I preferred writing. Then I found more of my love of healthcare in journalism when I covered Covid-19 at the New York Times. I was working on investigations in public health, and I saw that there was so much to cover under this giant umbrella of healthcare.

What’s the biggest misconception people might have about your job?

I don’t think people realize how much other people are involved in the publishing process and getting it all together. It’s not like I just write something and immediately it’s put up on the website—especially here at Healthcare Brew. We have multiple rounds of edits, we have multiple rounds of copy edits, we have fact-checking; it goes through multiple people before the final product is up on the website.

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What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

I really love that I have a job where I can just call up smart people, ask to pick their brains, and ask them questions.

What healthcare trend are you most optimistic about, and why?

Telehealth. It’s really helping people get same-day appointments. It’s helping to address the shortage of a lot of specialists, too. And for people who may not have transportation to go straight to a doctor'’s office, they can still receive care.

What healthcare trend are you least optimistic about, and why?

I read an article earlier about this one company that’s trying to utilize ChatGPT for electronic health records, and I was like, “Oh, I don’t know how helpful that could be.” Because I’ve been reading studies about implicit bias within electronic health records. If you describe a patient as unruly or aggressive, that can follow them throughout their health treatment and inhibit their care. I don’t know if ChatGPT is going to get rid of any of those implicit biases. I’m not optimistic about that.

What topics are you most interested in covering?

Approaching the idea of health equity from different angles and how it really contributes to a patient’s health is something I’m really interested in. I’m also really interested in just any kind of new tech or innovations that are coming into the healthcare sphere.

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