Professor fights for access to health care for all

Author, journalist, athlete, coach, scientist, professor. 

These are just some of the words used to describe Alberto Friedmann’s career journey, an assistant professor of exercise science at Indiana State. 

Friedmann, who is in his fourth year teaching Sycamores, grew up in Rhode Island and received his bachelor’s degree in creative writing at Emerson College in Boston. He was not always interested in medicine as he spent 12 years as a journalist and tae kwon do athlete. 

Since 1991, he also has served as head coach of the U.S. Martial Arts Team, training athletes to represent the U.S. at international competitions and the World Games.

In 2001, he returned to school to receive his master’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, He would later go on to receive his doctorate in kinesiology and exercise science, education and neurology in 2014 at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Friedmann enjoys teaching at the college level and interacting with all of his students. “I like the higher level of expectation. I was never interested in teaching in the middle school or high school level, I like it a little more focused.”

Friedmann said that it was his interest and work in athletics that drove him to his teaching career path of exercise science. “I was originally studying oriental medicine when a friend of mine at the time introduced me into the western science of physiology and thought I would be interested in it. I started looking into it and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool stuff, let’s do that.’”

Friedmann is passionate about teaching, but also believes this is something he needs to remember when teaching.

“My favorite part of teaching and the most difficult part of teaching, in my opinion, is the same,” he said. “The good news is that I really like this material and I’m very excited and passionate about it, but the bad news is that that I really like this material and I’m very excited and passionate about it. I love teaching this material and the interactions I have while teaching it, but I have to remind myself that not all my students are as excited about this as I am. Every now and then, there is a student that feels the same way about this topic that I do and that’s marvelous”

While also being a professor at ISU, he is the advisor and instructor of the Martial Arts Club on campus and is an overseas fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. 

Recently, he wrote an article which was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The article calls out the government for the lack of affordable health care in the U.S.

Friedmann believes that everyone should have access to affordable heatlh care.

“The American health care system is by far the worst health care system in the world,” he said. “We have the best medicine, the best technology, some of the best doctors and then we refuse people treatment,”

Friedmann said the U.S. is arguably the richest country in the world, yet 51% of the citizens with health insurance don’t get treatment because they can’t afford it.

As a professor, Friedmann is looking forward to continuing to teach students, and to also fighting for health care for those who need it most.