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Shouldn’t people who seek health care be able to communicate with their doctors?

In a physician’s office, there is a brief period of anticipation moments before an interpreter arrives in person or appears on a video screen. Even as the family’s pediatrician, I am powerless to guess what brought their child to the office if I can’t communicate with them. A cough? A cold? Housing concerns? Asthma follow-up? While we wait, we can only offer each other a smile and a kind word in a language we do not understand — gracias, shukraan, mèsi, thank you.

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