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All You Have To Do Is C.A.R.E.

by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 4th, 2018

All You Have To Do Is C.A.R.E.

Last Friday, I was the guest speaker for an undergraduate course on Public Service & Civic Engagement. The title of my talk was All You Have To Do Is C.A.R.E. Although most of my speech focused on my work in the Columbus Women’s Commission, I used it as an opportunity to remind the students that voting is an act of public service and civic engagement that we should all participate if we are eligible – All You Have To Do Is C.A.R.E.

You need to be CURIOUS. What are the problems that you see where you want to be part of the solution? For me, it is making sure that health care is available for all of us. I want to make sure that we continue to focus on prevention and screening so that we can catch diseases early. I remember how things were before the Affordable Care Act – when screening pap smears and mammograms were not available without some sought of cost sharing. I remember when the most effective forms of birth control were not accessible to women because they were not affordable.

You need to take ACTION. Sitting around and complaining does not take care of the problem. You must be an active participant in providing solutions. VOTING on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 is one of many ways to be active. Take advantage of being heard by voting for candidates that align with your beliefs. For me, health care is important. I have a pre-existing condition and even as a physician, I remember being denied insurance coverage because of my pre-existing condition.

You need to be well-READ. My information comes from all sources. I rather seek my information than have information fed to me. Fake news is out there but if you are well-read, you can sift through the misinformation. When people get preventative care without cost sharing, they do not wait until they are critically ill before going to the doctor. They do not use the emergency rooms as often. We have saved money with the passage of the Affordable Care Act and that is a fact.

You need to have EMPATHY. Be willing to listen to the story of your neighbor. We are not all the same. We each have a story. Just because I have reached the age where I do not need birth control does not mean I cannot fight for all young women of reproductive age to have access to contraceptives. Just because I may not have a family member dealing with addiction, does not mean I cannot feel for a mother trying to find a treatment facility for her child. We are all in this together. Health care should be a right for everyone regardless of their race, sex, age, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and whatever else makes them different.

All you have to do is C.A.R.E. can apply to any issue you see fit.  My issue is health care. Find what issue motivates you and get out there and VOTE.

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Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
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The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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