Family Medicine

Melissa Palma, MD Melissa Palma, MD (3 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Melissa Palma is an aesculapian advocate who trained in family medicine at a Latino-serving community health center. Her writing reflects on the privileges and responsibilities we have as physicians to advance health equity for our patients and our communities. When not in the hospital, you can find her studying or reading non-fiction while nursing a taro boba tea.




A Day at 34 Haverhill Street Clinic: A Resident’s Education in Social Medicine at Community Health Centers

Ana sits on the exam table in front of me explaining how, in three short weeks, her mother will evict her from her childhood home. She is eight months pregnant and is studying night courses to become a paralegal. As her prenatal provider and primary care physician, I have been sending referrals to numerous community agencies in hopes of securing housing at the local YWCA.

Partnerships for Health: Leveraging and Centralizing Access to Community Health Centers

Health and wellness are more than a simple product of access and initiative, as such a simplified formula is only enjoyed by a very small minority. The equation becomes more complicated as new factors enter, such as unemployment or housing insecurity. Despite their importance as determinants of health, such elements are seldom addressed in the medical interaction between patient and physician, and are thus discarded in the interest of a perceived efficiency.

Family Doc Diary: December 28, 2016

We are in the thick of winter and URI season is upon us. Since a few of the older providers have been out for the holidays, I have been seeing their patients for same-day sick visits. It can get tedious after a morning of telling patients why I’m not giving them antibiotics. And very easily, one can fall into a “well bias” trap where you assume everyone is fine.

Skip the Jargon and Talk to Your Patient

I remember ranting to a friend one night about the terminology, lingo and semantics that run through medicine. When I started studying medicine, I found the language fascinating. Most physicians seem to appreciate the language of medicine because truly understanding it is proof that after years of studying, working, and putting nose to grindstone, you made it in to the exclusive club that utilizes this jargon.

From Volunteer to Family Physician

Sometimes, it’s difficult to recall that single defining moment or person that sends you on the path you’re meant to take in life. I was fortunate in that I found that experience halfway through my undergraduate career at the University of California, Davis. I had recently lost my grandmother — although I’d wanted to help, all I’d been able to do at the hospital was translate for her. That overwhelming sense of helplessness I felt due to my lack of medical knowledge fueled my desire to help and serve others as a physician.

Farrah Fong, DO Farrah Fong, DO (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson


Farrah Fong is from the San Francisco Bay Area and did her undergraduate studies at UC Davis in Exercise Biology and Music Performance (piano). She went to grad school at UMDNJ's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and currently attends medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (Class of 2016). Her interests include preventive medicine, working with under-served populations, nutrition, music, lifting weights, dance, writing, and cooking. She will be completing her residency training in Family Medicine at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson in New Jersey.