Susan Mirabal has a masters in biology with a biophysics concentration, experience with health policy, and is a candidate for an M.D. In this blog piece, she offers her personal insights into the immigrant patient experience and she discusses her active efforts to change the linguistic and cultural landscape of healthcare in the future. An inspiring woman and an inspiring read!
A guest blog post by Kaitlin E. Thomas, M.A.
"We live in a unique time when many communities are being forced to reevaluate the manner in which they administer services to demographics that present new linguistic and cultural challenges at an unprecedented rate. Too often the solution is to rely on tools that only serve to widen the gap by producing nonsensical text (a challenge for those with low or nonexistent literacy levels) or essentially belittle the patient by speaking “at” them rather than “with” them, or at worst, not speaking to them at all."
This article is a few months old, but should not be forgotten as its message is of consequence. The number of Latino Doctors is not keeping pace with the population.
"One interpreter, mistranslating for a nurse practitioner, told the mother of a seven-year-old girl with otitis media to put (oral) amoxicillin “in the ears.”
"People in Cambodia experience what we Americans call depression. But there's no direct translation for the word "depression" in the Cambodian Khmer language. Instead, people may say thelea tdeuk ceut, which literally means "the water in my heart has fallen.”