Shame on Me!

So, after only about what, seven months of being a senior resident…the jadedness of the medical field showed its ugly head. I am on the full term nursery right now, and the other day, we had an explosion of patients, and not just any explosion, a Burmese speaking explosion, and well, I thought IT. I thought, for just one quick nanosecond, I thought to myself, “God, why don’t these people just learn the language!” And then I caught myself. But, yeah, for that small moment, that thought actually crossed my mind, and entered my heart.

I mean, lets forget for a second the blatant hypocrisy of that thought; as my own family immigrated to the states when I was seven. Lets even forget that, the very reason I wanted to be a pediatrician was so that poor kids, including those from different countries, could get access to quality healthcare and not be treated differently because of their SES and immigration status. Yes, lets forget all that for a second, and focus, on what was truly wrong with me thinking that thought.

I mean, can you imagine what it must be like to have to flee from your own country, leave your life, most of your family behind, and come to this new place, this place that is so completely different from what you are used to? And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, your wife is pregnant, and people are poking her, doing all sorts of things to her that you don’t totally understand because they can only find someone who speaks your language every once in a while, or they use this phone in which someone on the other line speaks a different dialect than you do, so you still don’t completely understand what is going on. Then, you have to tell your story to different people everyday. Your baby is born and different people keep taking her out of the room, and you still don’t really get what is going on, and you hope that your wife and baby are ok?! I mean, can you imagine that? Cause I can’t. I cannot imagine how scary and confusing and difficult that must be. Nor, do I want to have that feeling. But this person, and his family didn’t have a choice.  And then, for me to want them to assimilate to a culture that isn’t really fully my own just to make my life easier?! Well, shame on me. I mean, really. The only inconvenience I face, is having to use an interpreter line. That’s it. And yes, it takes me a little bit longer to do my rounds. But really, that’s it. A small dot of an inconvenience, when this man and his family have this well, new inconvenient life to live now. EVERY DAY!



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