dcsimg

Career Story: Doctor At A Multi-Ethnic Health Clinic

Doctor At A Multi-Ethnic Health Clinic

Job Title: Primary Care Physician

Type of Company: I work for the public health system in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My practice is at a health center that serves a multi-ethnic community. We speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mandarin so we have a very diverse group of patients.

Education: BA, Social Anthropology, Haverford College •• MD, Dartmouth Medical School

Previous Experience: I spent 3 years on a Navajo reservation as a general internist and then came east to join my current practice just over two decades ago.

Job Tasks: I see patients and take care of their primary needs. I am the first point of contact that patients have with the health care system. I generally work long hours: 7:30 or 8 in the morning until 7 or 8 at night isn't uncommon, but on some days I can get home as early as 6. I see patients both in the office and in the hospital. They suffer from a variety of problems, from the simplest to the most complicated. Some of the work is easy and fun, and some of it is challenging and heart-rending. It is a privilege to be given such intimate access to peoples' lives as they bring their health and psycho-social problems to my consulting rooms. I screen for hidden health problems. I treat chronic diseases. I listen a lot. I spend a lot of time negotiating with people to get them to do what I think is best for their health. I also spend a lot of time teaching patients about the diseases they're afflicted with.

In addition, I have the great joy of teaching residents and medical students. My office serves as an important training ground to help develop the skills of future doctors.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Worst: The administration of medicine in the US is very complicated and there are a lot of pointless paperwork hassles. Also, a lot of people do not trust their doctors, and it difficult to work so hard to earn their trust. (But when you do earn their trust, it is very gratifying).

Best: Getting to know 'the whole person' and having insight into what makes people feel bad and feel better; applying science and psychology and human relations and cultural studies for the betterment of the health of the community; and having a long term relationship with individuals and families: watching them grow and change over time.

Job Tips: Medicine is not all science. You have to like science to be good at it, but you also need to be good at human relations, to have empathy, and to understand the context of disease and health. So take a lot of courses in humanities, social science, and languages! Speaking another language is a real plus. You'll get plenty of science in your pre-med courses and in medical school. Be as broadly educated a person as you can be, because that will make you a better doctor. And volunteer in a health profession so you can really see what it is like to deal with sick people before you commit yourself to the hard work of studying medicine. I also think that having an overseas experience in which you can immerse yourself in another culture is a big plus, especially if you can get to know people who are struggling with poverty. It gives you a deeper understanding of what people have to face on a daily basis when they lack resources and teaches you to be empathetic.

Popular Schools offering Allied Health Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Medical Assistant Program , Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Healthcare Management (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: Doctor of Business Administration: Healthcare Management
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Simmons’ online Master of Public Health program, MPH@Simmons, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. The MPH@Simmons program explores the core areas of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health services, environmental health, and social/behavioral health. Additionally, the practice-based curriculum incorporates courses specifically designed to help you develop leadership and advocacy skills.

  • Programs: Master of Public Health
  • Degrees: Master

Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: Master of Public Health
  • Degrees: Master

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Medical Specialties (AOS)
  • Degrees: Associate
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Delano, Hanford, Hesperia, Lancaster, Madera, Ontario, Salida, Temecula, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Medical Assistant, Degree - Medical Assistant, Degree - Medical Office
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate

You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Degrees: Certificate
Brightwood College
Bakersfield, Riverside, Salida, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant , Healthcare Assistant, more...
  • Degrees: Diploma, Associate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for General Practitioners

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about General Practitioners, including:

Back to Top