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Reflections on a Migrant's Crossing

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Reprint Address: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093.
    Daniel J. Suto
    Footnotes
    1 Reprint Address: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093.
    Affiliations
    San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, La Jolla, CA, United States
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Reprint Address: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093.
      My introduction to clinical medicine began on a service that was frequently overwhelmed by patients who jumped or fell from the border wall. At the time, I did not realize how unique it was to care for this population as a byproduct of living so close to the border. These migrants suffered enormous physical and emotional damage in search of a better life. As a bright-eyed, third-year medical student, I felt woefully unequipped to handle the suffering placed before me. In the first 2 years of medical school, diseases, treatments, and disparities are organized and simplified into digestible buckets. We learn foundations of medicine in an organized framework because the ever-evolving knowledge base requires schemas. Despite integration of patient stories and early clinical interactions, emergency medicine forces medical students to face human suffering on a level many of us have not seen before.
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