Update |

Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Zander Curtis (he/him)

Where do you call home? 
North Central Appalachia

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Family Medicine, Abortion Care

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
Medicine is a third career choice for me. I studied philosophy in college and pursued graduate training in applied ethics with the intention of becoming a medical ethicist. After becoming dispelled, I completed an MPH with the intention of helping to narrow the divide between a community’s healthcare needs and its public health resources. After becoming dispelled, I decided to apply to medical school.

What advice do you have for medical students and residents wanting to incorporate advocacy into their day-to-day?
When someone asks me for advocacy advice, I implore them to think critically about the needs and desires of the community for whom they wish to advocate, on what they have to offer that community, and how their actions will be perceived by community members. I encourage them to understand their advocacy as bi-directional.

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
I believe that maintaining a liberal democracy requires fair elections, freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and separation of church from state. Every legislative attempt to systematically dismantle any such institution inspires me to advocacy.

How have the events of the past few years shaped how you view being a physician advocate?
Recent events have caused me to reflect on how the social capital I am awarded can be used to support vulnerable communities and to promote healthcare-related justice. I recognize that physicians are often granted permission to play unique roles in communities. Therefore, I think a lot about how earning my patient’s trust is a necessary first step towards changing their recalcitrant views about healthcare and our global community.

What is bringing you joy these days?
Chef Sara Hauman, fall weather, and swimming