Trailer Medicine

Every summer and fall, my (Eric's) residency program staffs a migrant clinic. Every Thursday night, a few people drive out ~50 minutes or so from Ann Arbor, down a dirt road on the DuRussell Potato Farm, to a couple of trailers, one of which houses the clinic. There the Latino migrant farm workers have a chance to get some convenient health care during the time they're here in Michigan instead of Texas or Florida. Some speak English, some don't. Some have insurance, some don't. Last night was my turn to make the voyage, and I loved it (again). Here's why:

1. It's in a trailer on a potato farm. Anyone who wants to open a clinic in a trailer on a potato farm, please let me know.

2. It's casual. My goal is to practice medicine in a t-shirt. I don't know if I'll accomplish this, since Africa maintains a professional decorum with its traditionalism.

3. HIPPA is... elastic. The faux-wood panel walls between the two exam rooms don't really offer any sound-proofing anyways. The casual nature of the clinic means that the conversation about birth control or your kids' ear infection may continue out into the hallway and all the way to the door of the trailer. And no one (seems to) mind. It reminds me of Africa. Confidentiality can be a boon, and at times, is essential. The flip side, seen here, is that there is a collegiality in a shared experience that is also valuable.

4. The staff is excellent, and are incredibly well-versed in the logistics of what is and is not possible to accomplish for their patients.

Viva la clinica en la trailer en la potato farm!


Anonymous said...

Its fun finally seeing a picture of the trailor clinic you were at that day I talked with you. love ya! Mariah