HomeAsian AmericansPodcast brings to light systemic gaps in AANHPI patient care

Podcast brings to light systemic gaps in AANHPI patient care

The Seattle-based Healthcare for Humans podcast, created by physician and community organizer Dr. Raj Sundar, works to bridge the systemic gaps in patient care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.

The series, which began in June 2022, aims to explore the relationship between cultural identity and medical services by exposing his listeners to his patients’ “micro-moments of connection,” as Sundar described, according to Kaiser Permanente

Sundar interviews different community leaders to provide a platform for voices who may not be represented in the mainstream media. He said the podcast offers a “unique blend of personal stories, cultural insights, and expertise,” International Examiner reported.

“In this podcast, as I learn, I hope to educate clinicians on how to care for culturally diverse communities so we can all be better healers for all patients, no matter who they are,” Sundar said in a statement. “I hope this podcast re-orients us to what’s important to our patients and how they came to be where they are now.”

Sundar said the podcast was greatly influenced by his experiences in the healthcare system. He said he was inspired by a meaningful conversation he had with an Ethiopian leader, which “opened [his] eyes and showed [him] there’s a profound gap in our healthcare model.”

“It started because I wasn’t fully addressing the needs of immigrant and refugee patients,” said  Sundar to International Examiner. “The healthcare system often puts people in boxes without understanding their unique values and beliefs. This inspired me to use podcasting as a medium to let individuals from diverse backgrounds speak for themselves, providing a more nuanced perspective.”

Co-producer Tessa Chu, who serves on the board of Directors at the International Community Health Services, said she is committed to expanding access to affordable care services to all. 

“I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like when my parents go to healthcare. There are barriers to immigrants or people from different types of communities when they go to the traditional U.S. healthcare system. It’s complicated to navigate,” said Chu to International Examiner. “This podcast was one of the first times I felt like we were getting into the details of hearing people’s stories from these communities and getting more specific about how we tailor care.”

The podcast serves as an “educational and transformative medium” in public medical understanding, International Examiner reported, such as by offering Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits required for emerging physicians. 

Sundar noted, “Healthcare knowledge is constantly evolving, and as professionals, we must stay informed. Our podcast aids in this by offering CME credits through reflection-based content, addressing gaps in cultural sensitivity and patient care,” International Examiner reported.

“By better understanding their worldview, we can better care for those patients we struggle to help, within the context of their own struggle, and thereby, even ameliorate our own struggle,” said Sundar in a statement.

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