Finding the Words: Literacy and Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

Finding the Words: Literacy and Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

By Emily King

Fall 2007 - Volume 11 Number 4


When I began studying at Oregon Health Sciences University, I hoped to eventually practice medicine in underserved areas around the world. In my first weeks of medical school, a professor challenged my classmates and me to consider that, although less glamorous than traveling to exotic places, there are many "international" Americans who are underserved. With this challenge in mind, I applied my enthusiasm for diverse populations and traditional means of health care toward an assignment to interview a patient with the goal of learning how she and her family utilize health care in this country. I am honored to have interviewed an immigrant from Vietnam, Vicky, who has given me an opportunity to appreciate some of the challenges the US health care system presents to recent immigrants.

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