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The patients that make you realize that we are part of a larger human family

T was the last patient of a busier than usual morning. “New patient, establish care” was her reason for visit. As I would soon find out with the help of our remarkable Arabic interpreter, T and her family recently moved to our area after spending the better part of 3 years moving from refugee camp to refugee camp trying to escape the ravages of the civil war in their native Syria. Considering the hardships, T seemed to be doing well. “Maybe she looks a bit pale,” her mom stated, but both dad and T disagreed with her, smiling and saying that mom is a worrier.

As we do with all of our new immigrant patients (many of whom come from conflict-afflicted areas in the Middle East), I ordered a point of care hemoglobin and lead level and then left the room. A few minutes later one of our nurses found me.

“Hemoglobin of 8. I already obtained blood for a full CBC with manual differential, but please order it officially.”

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