Jennifer Brody, MD, MPH, Kraft Practitioner alumna (Class of 2014), Internal Medicine physician and Director of HIV Services at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), recently completed an interview with the Kraft Center, offering insight into her reasons for practicing in community health, a summary of the Kraft program's impact on her own career, and updates from her post-Kraft experience:
1) What influenced you to go into community health practice and to practice at BHCHP specifically?
I have long been concerned about the ways in which social inequities become embodied as illness. I was powerfully drawn to working with people whom society seemed to ignore, to people who suffered largely without a voice, in the shadows of our great academic and health institutions. I needed to find a way of wedding clinical care and social justice work. For me, I knew this path would be as a primary care physician, embedded in a community health setting.
It was during my time as a primary care resident at the Brigham that I learned about Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program and worked to set up a continuity elective doing HIV primary care there during my senior year of residency. I absolutely fell in love with BHCHP's mission, their clear commitment to social justice and health equity for homeless individuals, and their truly broad vision of what a physician can and should be, which included serving as a social change agent. When I learned that there was a job opening at BHCHP around the time that I was graduating residency, I jumped at the chance to join the team.