In my medical training, a fellow physician tried to convince me that my liberal leanings on health care were misguided. While I firmly believed that the government had an important role in providing access to medical care—particularly to the underserved—my colleague argued that the government’s role in, well, anything, should be practically nonexistent.
I remained firm in my conviction. After all, I grew up in a rural area where many residents, including my own family, received their health care from county health departments and government clinics. My lifelong dream was to become a physician and one day join one of these agencies to provide health care to needy patients. The best way to do that, it seemed to me, was to work in a clinic created for that very purpose—a Federally Qualified Health Center.