Highly Disappointed

I recently read “Off the Prescribed Path” [Summer 2014], and I am highly disappointed and offended. I am an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and am also Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe. I have worked for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Health as a physician assistant since graduation in 2010. You praised Ms. Amani for her work with Indian tribes, when in actuality she had limited options and ended up working with Indian Health Service (IHS) more out of necessity than choice. In addition, she has only stayed at each location for a couple of years, which is typical for non-Native providers who come to IHS facilities. … The biggest complaint from our patients is the high turnover rates of non-Native providers. … Patients are distrustful of newcomers, as many don’t stay long enough to gain an understanding of the culture or immerse themselves in the community. Patients may feel as though practitioners are just biding their time and aren’t really invested in their health and well-being; therefore, they are less willing to be open and honest about factors that may be affecting their health. In addition, they take from our communities without giving back: they learn much and take this knowledge and profit from it, while our communities remain impoverished.

Kiana Beaudin ’10
Baraboo, Wisconsin

Published in the Fall 2014 issue

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