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Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Stephanie Rand (she/her/hers)

Where do you call home?
Currently New York!

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Obstetrics & Gynecology with sub-specialist training in Complex Family Planning

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
I worked as a Peer Educator in college and was drawn to increasing access to reproductive health care.

What advice do you have for medical students and residents wanting to incorporate advocacy into their day-to-day?
Being a medical student is so overwhelming and time consuming – it often feels impossible to feel like you have time to participate in genuine advocacy work. This can feel very disheartening as you may get a sensation like you’ve become distanced from the reasons you entered medicine. If possible, try to give yourself space to at least *think* about something you care about once a week. Small and personal investments like reading an article or reposting something can ground you in the reason for your work and will build the foundation for advocacy work you will have time for later. For residents, work with your program to have protected time for advocacy activities. Don’t limit yourself to structured activities like lobby days – consider becoming involved in hospital committees or community groups that reflect issues you care about.

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Gaining health care access can unfortunately be a route to policing of pregnant people. Patients who are enrolled in state insurance programs (like Medicaid) are especially subject to deeply scrutinizing services and medical trauma through biased medical provider, social work and CPS structures. The state supervision that pregnancy incites for poor and marginalized patients is not just a direct patient-care issue, but a larger crisis in our health-care system which leads to disparate care. I am currently motivated to advocate for policies that would increase privacy and protection for Medicaid enrollees during pregnancy.

How have the events of the past few years shaped how you view being a physician advocate?
I have learned to lean into discomfort and self-reflection of our medical system and my role as a provider. We must be actively critical of ourselves and the systems we operate and are ultimately complicit with.

What is bringing you joy these days?
I just moved back to the east coast after many years away for medical training and am enjoying seeing old friends and spending more time with family.

Our Meet Our Advocates series showcases the talents and passion of one of our doctors and finds out, in their own words, what inspires them to be physician advocates. Stephanie Rand, MD is a current Fellow in our Leadership Training Academy Class of 2022. Dr. Rand practices obstetrics and gynecology in New York.

Read more interviews from the Meet Our Advocates series.