In Celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
US Acute Care Solutions cares for patients from throughout the United States from coast to coast. In doing so, they care for patients of countless nationalities, religions and backgrounds.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration month, and we spoke to a few of our colleagues of this heritage to discuss what it means to them.
“Our diversity helps educate our peers,” said Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, FACEP, who immigrated to the United States from India with his parents when he was a young child. “Experiencing cultural sensitivity is more impactful learning from a colleague than a PowerPoint.”
About 15 years ago, Dr. Patel took his children and parents to India, where he said he gained a greater appreciation for the land of his birth. He also loves the culture he has experienced in his home in California.
“We are close-knit in our communities even here in the United States,” he said. “We try to help each other. The melting pot has added new elements to our culture, but that is what is supposed to happen.”
Emergency Physician Jeff Chiu, DO, is of Chinese descent. He appreciates his culture’s emphasis on the importance of hard work and academic success.
“I find that to be a blessing, because that helped me to work hard and keep trying, even when I fail,” Dr. Chiu said, who discovered his future in science through volunteering at the hospital as a student initially interested in the field of genetics and its link to cancer. “I found that my real passion is at the bedside, where science translates directly to healing and lessening the suffering of people.”
Speaking of translation, Dr. Chiu finds himself in awe of the history and culture of China. He said, “I am proud of my heritage that’s rooted in over 5,000 years of rich history. The Chinese language and culture are truly amazing. It’s romantic and poetic in a way that the English language just cannot compare.”
Hospitalist Physician Sarah Kim, of Korean descent, chose to become a physician because, “it is one of the few careers that combines fulfilling work, societal influence, meaningful interactions and continued learning.”
She is proud of what she sees as “South Korean cultural content taking the world by storm,” referencing K-pop, K-drama, Korean cinema and Korean food (e.g. Academy award winning Parasite, Squid Games, BTS music, Korean BBQ to name a few). “I love that people want to engage with Korean culture on multiple levels; this desire to learn about another culture is one of the first steps in creating harmony and honoring humanity. I’m proud that my culture is fostering that.”
As a physician, she deeply values the Korean culture’s appreciation for families, and the concept of nunchi, or emotional intelligence.
Dr. Kim is excited to be a part of efforts toward USACS’ growth in its value of diversity and inclusion.
“D&I helps us stop wasting clinical time and helps us get things done,” she said. “Diversity and inclusion create nonjudgmental environments that supports honest communication. Trusted and reliable communication between a clinician and patient leads to tailored care and achievable health goals which reduces inefficiencies and medical non-compliance. A workplace that values diversity and inclusion is a place that values learning about others and themselves. And I am all for that!”