Physician Perspective: Politics & Care

Written by Sarah Kimball, MD, NPA Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Co-Chair

Most of the time, I feel deep satisfaction about being a physician who advocates patient-by-patient. Yet there are times where it feels that the tide of politics rises too high for me to stay satisfied focusing on each person in front of me. As physicians, we not only know each individual patient’s stories. We also see trends, and can help politicians and the public understand the people who are affected by their policy stances.

I wrote this Letter to the Editor in response to the growing tide of thoughtless, short sighted and racist comments I’ve seen made by politicians and the media about the US refugee population. As a clinician in the Immigrant & Refugee Health Program at Boston Medical Center, I can say that the majority of my patients are resilient, kind, and intelligent humans who want a chance at a safe and productive life. When we sanction and accept this sort of counterfactual fear mongering, we sow the seeds of continued violence.