Danielle Ofri on Foreign Immigrants and US Health Care

WED, FEB 3, 2010 (1:21:08)

Writer and practicing internist Danielle Ofri discusses her newest book, Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients.

For 15 years, Dr. Danielle Ofri has cared for patients at Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the country and a crossroads for the world's cultures. Many of her patients have braved language barriers, religious and racial divides, and the emotional and practical difficulties of exile to access quality health care. In Medicine in Translation, Ofri offers us portraits of these people: of Juan Moreno, who spent his boyhood working in Puerto Rico's sugarcane fields to support his family; of Samuel Nwanko, who was attacked with acid by a local Nigerian cult; of Xui-Ping Liang, whose three-week vacation from China turned into a five-year stay after her cancer was discovered. We hear about a young Guatemalan woman who will die without a heart transplant but can't get one because she's undocumented, and of a Muslim girl attacked at knifepoint for wearing her veil. Combining personal narrative, reflection, and reporting, Ofri's stories speak about the challenges facing both immigrants and Americans in the US health care system.

+ BIO: Danielle Ofri

Dr. Danielle Ofri, author of Singular Intimacies, is an attending physician at Bellevue and the cofounder and editor-in-chief of The Bellevue Literary Review. She is currently a regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times and The New England Journal of Medicine.

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