Week 3: Diverse Patients

Affording Healthcare

I believe that my surrounding community has a lot to offer for a wide array of different patients. There are plenty of resources, but one just has to figure out the best resource for their personal situation and weigh the pros and cons of using this resource. First off, I feel as though the most prominent barrier to accessing healthcare is not being able to afford it. This could mean that the patient is experiencing temporary hardship or cannot pay for insurance. There are several free and income-based organizations in the area, with some operating with a “sliding scale” and accepting whatever people can pay. These organizations are usually a one-stop shop, offering healthcare, dental care, and other specialized services like nutrition (1). With these options for healthcare, patients have access to almost everything they need to stay healthy at little to no cost to them.

Healthcare for the Disabled

Income-based clinics are a vital resource in the community, but there are other more useful resources for specific demographics. For example, the mentally disabled community needs more hands on and long-term care from a provider. There are a variety of services offered in the community based on the needs of the disabled individual and their family. For example, one service called South Shore Support Services offers home respite care and recreational groups for disabled individuals (2). Another resource called Agape Inn provides respite care and even residential care in a group home setting (3). Another organization called House of Possibilities offers an array of day programs as well as overnight respite care (4). A primary factor impacting the access of these resources by disabled individuals is definitely their caretaker. In potentially being incapable of accurately communicating to a healthcare provider or perhaps being incapable of communicating at all, the caretaker serves as a liaison and ultimately decides what is best for the disabled individual.

Addiction and Illness

Two other populations, those suffering with addiction and those with chronic diseases, are similar in that the specialized care they need can be obtained in similar ways. As mentioned before, income-based clinics provide a variety of services including treatments for these afflictions. Another means of obtaining specialized care would be through hospital programs in Boston. For example, Boston Medical Center has an outstanding program for addiction treatment and prevention (5). Also, specialists in almost every chronic disease are easily accessible in many area hospitals and can be located through a simple internet search (6). As these resources are further out of the suburbs and into the city, access would be very dependent on transportation.

Considering Gender and Sexuality

Any of the aforementioned healthcare resources should be completely available to all patients, no matter their walk of life. With this, more factors that greatly influence a patient’s access to healthcare, regardless of the type of care they need, include language, religion, and orientation. Cultural and sexual identity are extremely important and provided healthcare must be geared toward respecting these identities. If a patient speaks another language, it should be the provider’s first priority to make sure the patient is able to communicate and obtain all the information they need, whether it be through a translator or other means. Furthermore, those who practice religions may believe in a certain way of performing a medical practice and be morally opposed to another practice. The patient should feel comfortable with the medical care they are receiving while also receiving the best care possible. Lastly, those who have identities that fall outside of societal norms in terms of gender or sexuality should be completely honored in their healthcare. In a modern world with people of every shape and size, cultural competence is brought to the forefront of providing healthcare. Without coming from a place of understanding and openness, it is impossible for a provider to offer their best care.



  1. “Welcome.” Services and Programs | Codman Square Health Center, www.codman.org/services/.
  2. “Our Family Support Services.” Services Family Support South Shore Weymouth, soshoresupport.org/family-support-services.asp.
  3. “Program.” Agape Inn, www.agapeinn.org/program.htm.
  4. “About Us.” House of Possibilities, www.houseofpossibilities.org/about-hope-1.
  5. “Addiction.” Grayken Center for Addiction Medicin, Boston Medical Center, www.bmc.org/addiction.
  6. “Treatment for Chronic Diseases in Boston, MA.” Steward Health Care, 2019, services.steward.org/ma/boston/primary-care/treatment-for-chronic-diseases.
  7. Esposito, Lisa. “LGBT Health Care: What to Consider.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News and World Report, 29 July 2015, health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/07/29/lgbt-health-care-what-to-consider.
« »