My Family Medicine Story
Christina Chavez-Johnson, MD
As a third year medical student, I rotated in a Federally Qualified Health Center in West Chicago. This particular day I was working in urgent care with an older physician who had a thick accent. We were seeing a 14-year-old African American male who complained of penile discharge. I remember having to translate this physician's English to the patient and the patient's English to the provider. I also had to perform a test which was quite uncomfortable for the patient, and the physician flat-out said to me, "we are doing because this man deserves it." At this moment I realized a few things:
1) Patients deserve care not only in their own language but from a culturally competent physician and 2) patients deserve care free from judgement and that I should do the best test to find the answers I need and not what may or may not be uncomfortable to the patient.
I became a family physician to provide this care. Not only do I speak Spanish so I can deliver care in many of my patients' native language, but I also grew up in the area where I practice. I have had multiple patients tell me they want me as their physician because I understand where they come from.