My health center, Alvernon Family Medicine, in the heart of Midtown Tucson is surrounded by vibrant communities from around the world. Our physicians, nurse practitioners, residents, nurses and staff pride ourselves as the medical home for a diverse patient population, with as many as a quarter of our patient visits made by individuals and families who came to this country as refugees from war-torn regions of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. While we struggle with visits prolonged by translator phones and managing the health needs in resource-challenged communities, we know we provide great care to many who refer more from their community to us day after day.
As I listen to the vitriol from the highest levels of our government — painting refugees as dangerous and taking advantage of us — my patients I’ve cared for over the last two years prove the opposite. They’ve reminded me of how lucky I am to be an American, our role in ensuring human rights for families that have fled their homes for a second chance at life, and how they keep America great.
I’m jealous of all the people still riding their bikes to work. My cold-weather clothes that got me to work on bike through the coldest of Chicago winters–heavy duty gloves, face mask, ear warmers, long johns–are sitting lonely in a box this winter.
This is the first winter at my new job where, most days, I work on Chicago’s near north side. My commute has me going conveniently straight east from my home in Oak Park. Though this winter this commute will be exclusively done by automobile.
Why? Because I’m scared for my safety. Continue reading
I spent the previous week in Washington, DC for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Board of Directors meeting.
In addition to the important discussions regarding the direction of the Academy, we headed to Capitol Hill for legislative meetings one afternoon. I met with legislative directors in the office of Senator Kirk and Congressman Davis to discuss bills and issues affecting primary care, medical education, and our patients and communities.
Walking around our nation’s capital always brings me joy. From strolling past the White House to getting lost in the tunnels under the halls of Congress and Congressional offices, each visit reminds me of my only paid job outside of health care.