Adannia Enyioha, MD, is a pediatrician with our HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinic. She cares for kids ages 0 to 18 that represent many ethnicities. The socioeconomic statuses of her patients vary widely, too.
Dr. Enyioha is very intentional in her practice. She makes sure she provides care and education in a way that is specific to each child’s culture. And her answers to these questions may help you think about what to consider when you are looking for the right doctor for your needs.
How diverse is the patient population you work with in Central Minnesota?
Dr. Enyioha: We have a large Somali population as well as Caucasian population. There are also some African-American children. There are some Vietnamese children. And there are some Latino children. From an economic standpoint, most of the patients we see are on medical assistance. We also see patients of varying religious backgrounds.
What kinds of unique patient needs do you see?
Dr. Enyioha: We need interpreters for visits with many of our patients. We use many formats, including live interpreters, phone and video interpreters. At the end of these visits, the instructions we give patients also need to be written in their language.
Are there parts of a visit that some patients are nervous about, based on their culture differences?
Dr. Enyioha: Several Somali patients are cautious about MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. This is due to false claims that circulated in their community several years ago.
We also see patients who are nervous about the flu shot. Some claim it can give them the flu. This of course is not true. It is very important that we educate these people and calm their fears. Kids under 2, pregnant moms and elderly people can become severely ill or even hospitalized for the flu. So if a family I’m working with has these kinds of members, I tend to spend quite a bit of time stressing the need to get the flu vaccine.
My colleague Mohamed Maray, MD, practices family medicine out of our clinic. He has mentioned that some of his patients are apprehensive about routine screenings. These include colonoscopies and pap smears. He believes in providing details about what the test is for and how it is important to their health. I, too, believe that this focus on bedside manner is key. It doesn’t matter how old the patient is.
What tips would you share with people who are searching for a new doctor?
Dr. Enyioha: I would suggest that you ask around. Check in with other families in your community. Get their opinions on doctors and clinics in your area. Within our organization, you can find primary care at:
- HealthPartners Internal Medicine or Family Medicine
- Park Nicollet Internal Medicine or Family Medicine
- Stillwater Medical Group Internal Medicine or Family Medicine
- HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinic
- Hudson Hospital & Clinic
- Westfields Hospital & Clinic
- Amery Hospital & Clinic
It is important to find a physician who will take time to explain various conditions to your family, and talk about why preventive care is important. If you feel that your visit is rushed, or that the doctor is not asking your opinion on your child’s care, it may not be the right fit.