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On Being a Doctor |

Crossing the Cultural Chasm

Paul Roman Chelminski, MD, MPH
[+] Article and Author Information

From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.


Requests for Single Reprints: Paul Roman Chelminski, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 5039 Old Clinic, CB7110, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599; e-mail, paul_chelminski@med.unc.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(1):67-68. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-1-200707030-00013
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A colleague requested that I provide general medical care for a friend of his, a French citizen. The patient wanted a physician who would provide medical care in her language. My Francophone credentials derive from my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer some 20 years previously, when I did community development work in the former French colony of Mali in West Africa. Fresh out of college with a major in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, I had not contemplated a career in medicine. Yet, it was there that I had my first clinical encounter—in French.

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