Healthcare for Humans

Healthcare for Humans

This show is dedicated to educating clinicians on how to care for culturally diverse communities so we can be better healers.

The Story of “Healthcare for Humans” and My Reflections on Cultural Communication in Medicine (Ep. 29)

In this episode of Healthcare for Humans, Dr. Raj Sundar is interviewed by Dr. Anne Liebel on her podcast, 10 Minutes to Better Communication. Dr. Sundar discusses the story behind Healthcare for Humans and his journey to provide better care to culturally diverse communities. He shares his experiences communicating with patients with different values and worldviews and how he turned to podcasting as a medium to explore and learn about culture in a nuanced and engaging way. Through storytelling and open discussions, Dr. Sundar aims to improve patient relationships and enhance cultural understanding in healthcare.Timestamped Overview:[00:00:00] Healthcare for Humans: Podcast journey and intentions.[00:04:34] Clinicians struggle with limited time for education and continued learning. Podcasts provide a convenient way to learn and be entertained. This inspired the use of podcasts to discuss nuanced and contradictory cultural issues.[00:09:09] Unaware vacation talk about Hawaii damages patient relationships.[00:13:14] Changing perspective and listening empowers vulnerable patients.[00:14:56] Open-ended questions save time in medicineAcknowledgements: Tessa Chu (Co-producer), Maha Razzaki (Writer)Connect with Us:Visit the official Healthcare for Humans website Visit@healthcareforhumanspodcast (Instagram) to stay updated with our latest episodes
September 25, 2023

Refugee Series/LIVE from North American Refugee Healthcare Conference—The Power of Stories, Community Voice, and Mutual Support (Ep. 28)

In today's episode, we have a special treat for you as we recap the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) held in Calgary, Canada. This conference, hosted by the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers, brought together healthcare professionals, researchers, and community scholars to discuss and address the unique challenges refugees and immigrants face in accessing healthcare. Joining me today are a diverse group of guests, including Duncan Reid from the International Medicine Clinic, Rachel Talavlikar from the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic, and representatives from the Community Scholars Program in Calgary. Together, we will dive into the key themes and takeaways from the conference, ranging from respecting Indigenous voices to the power of storytelling and healing through art. the importance of centering community voices and restructuring power and authoritybuilding strong connections within our communities. the experiences of internationally trained physiciansthe role of research in addressing healthcare disparitiesthe progress we've made in truth and reconciliation within the Canadian healthcare systemResources:National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)EthnomedRefugee Health YYCTimestamp:[00:05:58] Progress in truth and reconciliation in Canada[00:14:25] Talks contrast deep pain and healing process.[00:19:26] Recognizing the value of internationally trained healthcare workers.[00:22:24] Refugee review board offers research consultation.[00:27:19] Language's power on refugee status realization.[00:37:01] Hire diverse community scholars for successful research.[00:39:47] Finding hope in overwhelming times is vital.
September 4, 2023

Refugee Series/Humanity Amidst Chaos: The Resilience and Determination of James Achuli, a South Sudanese Refugee (Ep 27)

James Achuli is a refugee student studying International Relations at the University of British Columbia. He first arrived in Calgary, Canada in February 2022 as a refugee. At the immigration office, James was asked about his identity and where he came from. He shared his experiences of being born during the civil war in Sudan, growing up as an internally displaced person, and witnessing the destruction caused by war. Despite the hardships, James was determined to receive an education and received a scholarship to further his studies. He faced another war in South Sudan in 2016, where he witnessed the death of a friend and was then taken by armed men. With the help of a kind woman, James managed to escape and joined a group of refugees walking towards safety in Uganda. Eventually, he arrived at a refugee camp and faced the daily challenges and struggles that refugees endure. James acknowledges the difficulties faced by refugees, such as forced displacement, persecution, and lack of basic necessities. Through his experiences, he strives to shed light on the struggles faced by refugees and advocate for their rights and better opportunities.
August 21, 2023

Refugee Series/Boban Stojanović : Triumph Over Trauma – A Tale of Hope, Resilience, and Acceptance (Ep.26)

In this episode of "Healthcare for Humans" from the North American Refugee Conference, Dr. Raj Sundar records guest Boban Sojanovic, a Serbian Canadian peace and LGBTQ+ human activist, to share his incredible journey of resilience and hope. BBoban faced death threats in his homeland and had to flee to Canada, where he dealt with melanoma and the suicide of his father. Through poetry and therapy, Boban found healing and transformed his pain into a source of strength. Dr. Sundar emphasizes the importance of listening and bearing witness to the stories of refugees and trauma survivors while highlighting Boban's four powerful life lessons: embracing life's circumstances, celebrating personal transformation, recognizing the abundance of love and understanding in the world, and holding on to hope amidst challenges.
August 15, 2023

Refugee Series—The Human Faces of Refugee Trauma: Dr. Barakat Shares Stories of Survival (Ep. 26)

This episode features Dr. Suzanne Barakat, a family physician and executive director of the Health and Human Rights Initiative at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Barakat shares her experiences and expertise in working with refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons, shedding light on the terminology, history, and challenges these marginalized communities face. She emphasizes the importance of storytelling to create empathy and change, discussing the emotional toll on storytellers and encouraging listeners to reflect on their own perceptions. The episode also addresses actionable steps that individuals can take to support refugees and marginalized communities.Watch the White Helmet documentary on Netflix Listen to the Reveal podcast to dive deeper Support the Health and Human Rights Initiative and Society of Refugee Healthcare ProvidersGet trained Asylum Medicine Training Initiative, or AMTI, trains clinicians how to do forensic medical evaluations.
August 8, 2023

Culturally Sensitive Nutrition—Fostering Trust and Understanding in Healthcare (Aliyah Haq, Ep 24)

Aliyah Haq is an experienced registered dietitian with a career spanning 25 years. As the former president of Nutrition First, a prominent public health organization, she spearheaded a nationwide program emphasizing the importance of holistic nutrition education. In this episode of "Healthcare for Humans," host Dr. Raj Sundar and guest Aliyah Haq delve into the topic of culturally sensitive nutrition counseling. They stress the importance of building trust and understanding with patients, acknowledging the significance of food in their lives. The speakers share personal stories and experiences, highlighting the power of trust in making a difference in patients' health. They discuss the different approaches to nutrition advice depending on culture and emphasize the need to tailor recommendations to fit individual food habits and preferences. The episode also explores the challenges and strategies in pediatric nutrition counseling, particularly in addressing childhood obesity. Listeners are encouraged to embrace their cultural food traditions while making positive changes for chronic diseases and promoting health and physical activity in children.[00:05:01] Conversation, not commands, for effective communication.[00:06:56] Culture influences food choices, including religious practices.[00:10:05] Food choice impacts well-being, self-control, and satisfaction.[00:13:19] Culture impacts portion sizes. Ask about eating habits.[00:18:10] You control your body; take care.[00:21:43] Pediatric nutrition strategy: cultural differences and obesity.[00:27:12] Patient food history guides friendly, rapport-building conversations.[00:32:05] Trusting dietitians with patients' health is crucial.[00:35:12] Challenging situation leads to successful trust-building.
July 25, 2023
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Healthcare for Humans

My name is Dr. Raj Sundar, a family physician and community organizer. This is an independent project that I created, so I can become a better healer to the many different communities that I care for. Like many of you, I've fallen short in caring for and healing many of my patients, especially when their values and beliefs seem foreign to me.

We all have felt those large gaps between our agenda as clinicians and the lives of our patients.

These gaps, sometimes an abyss, are exacerbated by our contemporary systems. This show is my creative power restive and uprising to help address this gap. 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. I hope this podcast re-orients us to what's important to our patients and how they came to be where they are now.

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.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.


Raj Sundar, MD

Raj Sundar, MD

Raj Sundar is a family physician and a community organizer, dedicated to creating systems that prioritize the dignity of each individual.

His leadership approach is rooted in enabling and facilitating others to achieve a shared purpose, and his goal is to contribute to the creation of institutions and communities that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive by honoring people's histories and uplifting their hopes.

He strives to empower others to create meaningful change and cultivate conditions that enable individuals to flourish.

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