Sondos Zayed is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McGill University
Raised in an impoverished household, Ms. K was married off at a young age to a man decades her senior. As the years passed, the abuse her husband inflicted upon her escalated until she began fearing for her life. She spent years saving money and meticulously planning her escape, though her departure also meant abandoning her family to the mercy of her husband’s wrath. She eventually sought refuge in Québec, Canada.
With no real proof of identity, she was imprisoned for months upon arrival. Once released, with neither connections nor funds, she was directed to the YMCA Residence (which in 2010 had come to an agreement with the ...continue reading →
Mandi Irwin is a family physician at the Nova Scotia Health Authority's Newcomer Health Clinic, in Halifax, NS
Elizabeth Munn is a medical student at Dalhousie University
Hamid Abdihalim is a medical student at Dalhousie University
Matthew Ta is a medical student at Dalhousie University
Human displacement as a consequence of war, natural disaster, civil conflict or political instability is not a new problem. The ongoing war in Syria has brought this issue into mainstream view recently. This and other protracted and escalating conflicts have resulted in the displacement of over 22.5 million refugees globally, as estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2016 alone, almost 190,000 refugees were resettled in new countries around the world. This includes resettlement in Canada, which has welcomed over 25,000 refugees from Syria .
We often fail to appreciate that once refugees arrive in their countries of resettlement, they face substantial challenges ...continue reading →
Kirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ. She is currently attending the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting in Colorado Springs, CO.
In the plenary session on providing primary care for refugees, one of the speakers, Kim Griswold, shared an image, now familiar to many, that is designed to help people to understand the difference between equality and equity. It demonstrates how some people start off at a relative disadvantage and need extra help to be able to achieve or access things that more advantaged people are able to experience easily. This image, and similar ones, have been criticized by some social justice thinkers who point out that ...continue reading →
Kevin Pottie is Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Epi & Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa, as well as co-Chair of the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health, and a family physician at the Immigrant Health Clinic of Ottawa, which he helped to found. Dr Pottie will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
My residency training in Ottawa began with a wave of refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala. Most conflict-affected refugees - Somali, Sudanese, Congolese, Karen, Bhutanese, Colombian - come quietly and settle rapidly in our communities. And, even in instances when the media cover the arrival of large waves of refugees, such as the Vietnamese boat people or the recent Syrian war victims, the refugees themselves settle quietly in our communities.
In the early 1990s, it felt almost revolutionary to care for refugees. There were few primary care practitioners trained and ready to lead ...continue reading →
Mark Harris is Foundation Professor of General Practice and Executive Director of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Dr Harris will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
After working with refugee populations resettled in the urban fringe of Sydney in the 1990s, I began volunteer clinical work in 2000 with an NGO working with asylum seekers. Asylum seekers do not have access to the national health insurance system that funds primary care for all Australians and subsidizes medications. Despite having greater health needs due a variety of acute and chronic physical and mental health problems, refugees often suffer worse access to health care in resettlement countries like Australia. ...continue reading →
Fern R. Hauck is Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr Hauck will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
The scope of the crisis is staggering! The number of people displaced by war, conflict or persecution has hit a record high—over 65 million with 21 million of these being refugees. Most face an uncertain future. Those who are resettled to a developed country are among the lucky ones. Nonetheless, they face many challenges in their new home, including accessing culturally sensitive health care.
My involvement with refugees began on the Thai-Cambodian border, where I spent a year providing primary health care to Cambodian refugees who were living in the largest border camp, having fled there after the Khmer Rouge were ousted after years of genocide. Moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2000, I never expected to find that refugees were being resettled in this small city. ...continue reading →
Boluwaji Ogunyemi is a Dermatology Resident Physician in Vancouver, BC, and a freelance writer for the Huffington Post, Ubyssey Newspaper, and the Online Journal for Community and Person-centered Dermatology
As one of my last off-service rotations in residency, I completed an elective rotation in refugee primary care. I was attracted to the idea of a global population placed locally, because I plan to work internationally as part of my future practice, and I enjoy cross-cultural aspects of medicine.