Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist: A Doctor Reflects on Ten Years at a Refugee Clinic by Martina ScholtensYour Heart Is the Size of Your Fist: A Doctor Reflects on Ten Years at a Refugee Clinic by Martina Scholtens

Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist: A Doctor Reflects on Ten Years at a Refugee Clinic

byMartina Scholtens

Paperback | September 26, 2017

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An absorbing and touching read, this collection of true stories is the first book by a Canadian doctor on the topic of refugee health.

Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist draws readers into the complicated, poignant, and often-overlooked daily happenings of a busy urban medical clinic for refugees.

An Iraqi journalist whose son has been been murdered develops post-traumatic stress disorder and mourns his loss of vocation. A Congolese woman refuses antiretroviral treatment for her new HIV diagnosis, and instead places her trust in Jesus. Two conservative Muslim Iraqi women are inadvertently exposed to pornography when a doctor uses Google Images to supplement a medical discussion. By turns humorous, distressing, and moving, these stories offer insight into the people seeking a new life while navigating poverty, language barriers, and neighbours who aren't always friendly.

This riveting collection of true stories from Dr. Martina Scholtens is filled with hope and humour, and together make up a deeply moving portrait of how one doctor attempts to provide quality care and advocacy for patients while remaining culturally sensitive, even as she wrestles with guilt, awareness of her own privilege, the faith she was raised with, and vicarious trauma after hearing countless stories of brutality and suffering.

In the spirit of Louise Aronson and Atul Gawande, Scholtens' writing is based on her personal experiences and explores the transformative moments in which a clinical doctor-patient relationship becomes a profound human-human connection.

Dr. Martina Scholtens is a clinical instructor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and worked at the province's only refugee clinic for ten years, caring for patients from around the globe. The recipient of the Mimi Divinsky Award for History and Narrative in Family Medicine (2016), she recently complete...
Title:Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist: A Doctor Reflects on Ten Years at a Refugee ClinicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:September 26, 2017Publisher:Brindle & Glass PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927366682

ISBN - 13:9781927366684


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I was hesitant about this book at first and within the first twenty pages I thought I was going to return it because I wasn't feeling it. It may have been because I thought it was written by a man so I had to readjust to that and that I thought the camp was in another country besides Canada. But I really liked it. She was honest about her reaction to certain situations which I appreciated and the way she divided it down by the different ways things needed to be treated and what you need to take into consideration. That it is not a case of infantilizing them or expecting them not to have their own requests or needs (for instance the family who asked their host family not to play basketball after 8). They're human beings and they are in a situation where they need help and no one likes that. The health cuts pissed me off so unfortunately this is happening everywhere. But it was a very good read so I recommend everyone give it a read.
Date published: 2017-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life is short ... use it well. From a medical and social interactive perspective this book by doctor, wife, and mother Martina Scholtens is a personal account of her life as a Medical Doctor engaging her family, work colleagues, and patients in often difficult, but rewarding cross cultural and traditional interactions. Martina in this book also addresses many of the ongoing issues her refugee patients have faced in their former countries and will face with their new life in Canada today. I cannot begin to imagine the scope of how difficult it must have been for Martina and her work colleagues working at the Refugee Clinic with all the government fiscal limitations she had to face and had to work under. On a lighter note in her book "Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist" Martina also gives some helpful insights for life and living and I am specifically referring to pages 43 to 45 and 99 in her book you must read for yourself. This book does not specifically deal with the religious traditions and practices in relation to the current violent and brutal conditions that flow from these in countries where the refugees came from. I personally do not believe that all mono-theistic religions are equal in content or values expressed and much of the geopolitical conflicts we see in our world today have their roots in conflicting worldviews, which contribute to refugees seeking safety elsewhere. However, the scope of this book is not about this, and instead gives us a real glimpse in the life of Doctor Martina Scholtens and her interactions with everyone she meets in and around the medical/ social interactions at the Refugee Clinic she worked at. Most definitely worth reading and appreciating her work as a MD, wife and mother over the years!!!
Date published: 2017-10-22