Imagine you are an immigrant, moving to America in the hope of a better life for your family. It’s a difficult transition. Everything seems different: the food, the clothes, the way people greet one another. Even the water tastes strange.
Now imagine your child becomes sick. You don’t speak the language well so you don’t understand what this means. You try talking to your doctor in Spanish, but get only an apologetic look in return.
Enter Monica Federico, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, who would look like a godsend right about now. Dr. Federico not only speaks Spanish, she is also dedicated to helping underserved populations get access to care. She started her career torn between studying social work or medicine, and in many ways she’s managed to combine the two.
With so many language and cultural barriers to health care, Dr. Federico’s patience and understanding go a long way toward ensuring excellent quality of care.
“I end up taking care of the whole patient,” she said, “and I guess that sums up my approach: you have to take care of the whole family and the whole patient. You have to start where they are, not where you are. Otherwise, you can’t achieve much.” Click here for the full-article featured in Clinically Speaking.