Entry Date: 2/9/2012
Author: Nate McLaughlin, MD, UIC Family Medicine Resident Physician
Something was very wrong. Everyone could tell. From the tone of the mother’s cry to the just too awkward positioning of the child’s body. It was apparent that the 3 year old with severe malnutrition, that we had seen that morning on rounds, had died. Prior to eating dinner we were sitting around chatting jovially. The hospital staff eats at the hospital and as a result we were gathered just feet from the patient rooms. This was easy to overlook until the distraught mother walked into our midst. We often talk of disparities in health, but here was a very ‘in your face’ example of just how large those disparities can be. I’m getting the impression that’s how things are here, very much in your face and part of everyday life.
Normal takes on a whole new meaning when you realize how many of the world’s population live. Disparity just doesn’t quite seem to cover it.