Kimeshia Thomas - Language and Power
In the Fall of 2013 Kimeshia Thomas matriculated into the medical program at University of Washington. Currently, she is a second year medical student. Kimeshia writes: “I am extremely passionate about educating and empowering patients. Eventually I desire to pursue a concurrent MD/MPH degree, engaging in a cross-cultural investigation of different approaches to pain management with respect to labor. With this joint degree, I hope to be a part of a community health center that not only acknowledges the underlying issues that prevent patients from seeking care, but also alleviates these challenges.”
Graduating in 2010 Kimeshia titled her thesis: “Social Control through Persuasion Influence and Propaganda A transnational investigation: What are the underlying issues when addressing health and healthcare?”. Kimeshia focused on the interplay between language and power, trying to understand what factors influence how we view health and the type of treatment we seek. Looking at United States and South Africa she focused her investigation on the HIV/AIDs pandemic and based part of her analysis on over a 100 South African newspaper articles she collected from January 2007 to February 2008.
Kimeshia provides this account of her post-graduation journey: “After graduation I worked for Safe Passages a non-profit organization dedicated to providing academic and socio-emotional support to students within the Oakland Unified School District, who were performing at a level of basic or below basic. At Elmhurst Community Prep, a middle school in East Oakland, I provided 6th and 8th grade students with relevant tools needed to transition into middle and high school respectively. In addition to working at Elmhurst I also volunteered as a doula at San Francisco General Hospital. The Volunteer Doula Program at SFGH is an organization dedicated to offering continuous emotional, physical, and mental support throughout childbirth for mother’s from underserved communities. As a community based Doula I gave hands on assistance during labor with pain management, utilizing techniques such as massage, breathing, acupressure, and positioning. In my two years there I eventually became a coordinator and outreached to people interested in becoming doulas, monitored volunteer participation, assisted with the mentor program and attended monthly Doula Task Force meetings.”