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OHIO’s Daniel Skinner, Ph.D, and recent graduate, Nakul Bhardwaj, DO, MPH, published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

The authors analyze primary care in Cuba compared to the U.S.


 Along with OHIO alumnus Nakul Bhardwaj, DO, now a physician at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio University professor Dr. Daniel Skinner, Assistant Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social Medicine at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, was recently published in the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

The authors examine Cuba’s approach to primary health care in relation to how American health care operates. They consider key differences such as how Cuban medicine approaches primary health care, the importance of medical curriculum in establishing these priorities and the prioritization of the clinical encounter over technologically-advanced interventions.

“Many student trips are focused on service work, and although that is powerful and helpful, we really centered this trip on learning from Cuba and how we can take their approaches to healthcare to better help primary care here,” Skinner said. “Cuba does not necessarily have the resources we do so they focus on the basics. This coincides with the osteopathic approach our college takes and forces us to think more about prevention.”

Skinner and Bhardwaj traveled to Cuba in 2017 to learn firsthand about the nation’s approach to healthcare, meeting with Cuban healthcare professionals over the course of eight days and interviewing American physicians who trained in Cuba but practice in the U.S.

Within the article, the authors discuss how, although Cuba is a developing nation, the country boasts health care indicators that are comparable to the United States and other developed countries. He explains by emphasizing prevention and proactive care, the Cuban health care system provides lessons to inform future U.S. health care reform efforts in order to contain medical costs while providing quality care.

After the most recent trip, in March 2019, along with Skinner, two OHIO students are working with Cuban researchers to find ways to collaborate and build enduring relationships. They are also currently in the process of planning their March 2020 trip to Cuba.

Published by Meharry Medical College and Johns Hopkins University Press, The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on contemporary health care issues of medically underserved communities. It addresses such diverse areas as health care access, quality, costs, legislation, regulations, health promotion and disease prevention in relation to underserved populations in North and Central America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.