Sameer Vasta on equity, privilege, and how to have difficult conversations about health.

Written by Brigitte Dreger, Head of Partnerships at Dot Health

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Sameer is no longer in the dark about his health, and is working to share what he’s learned with his community and loved ones.
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After injuring his knee while in the U.S., Sameer was required to fill out forms for hours before receiving care.

“What about the people who have to ask, ‘do I feed my family, or do I get my wisdom teeth out?’”

These types of questions led Sameer down a lifelong quest of exploring equity within healthcare. And he doesn’t believe that equity is only financial. “We always talk about money as a currency — but we should also be thinking about knowledge,” he says. “Some people have all the information available to them, so they can ask their doctor the right questions and pursue the right care.” He champions the idea that information is a valuable currency in health care, and that privilege plays a big role in distributing that currency.

“Money isn’t the only currency. Knowledge is a currency. Some people have all the information available to them, so they can ask their doctor the right questions and pursue the right care.”

Sameer believes that part of the solution is giving people access to the health information that is going to empower them to pursue the right type of care. For him, part of that was understanding his own medical history: Sameer has a family history of heart disease, with many relatives having had a heart attack by 45. Many don’t live beyond retirement.

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Having access to his own information helped Sameer communicate with his father about health and daily behaviours.
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