Aleteia

Things you won’t find in medical textbooks

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Dr. Jacqueline Delmont is in charge of optimizing services for the SOMOS network of doctors. Her work seemingly focused on numbers, also involves a strong element of the humanizing dimension of medicine.

Jacqueline Delmont is the medical director of SOMOS Innovation, a branch of the SOMOS network which involves 2,500 doctors in New York City. Her patients are, in most cases, immigrants with few resources.

Keeping costs under control and giving better service to patients

Dr. Delmont’s professional work is focused on optimizing financial resources. “I’m in charge of supervising the cost of the services that we’re providing to patients, to eliminate excessive expenses,” she explains.

“I’m also concentrating on ensuring that the service given to patients is of high quality,” she adds.

Delmont worked for many years as a primary care physician in her clinic. Now, however, her work is more one of management. “I try to support doctors in transforming the way that medical services are provided so that they can be of higher quality and less costly, so the money saved can be reassigned in a way that reaches more patients and improves the service we give them.”

What are the obstacles facing the immigrants you attend?

Patients in the SOMOS network of doctors are, in the great majority of cases, of immigrant origin. It’s crucial to take into account factors such as their culture, their beliefs, and their language so doctors can exercise the medical profession more effectively, Delmont explains.

“There are many obstacles they could be facing,” she explains. “The challenge might be understanding their medical condition, for example, because the patient might have a limited level of education. Or it could be a language problem.”

This situation might be complicated even more by such important issues as the lack of help some patients face, which can create “a problem of access due to [a lack of] transportation.”

No one to accompany them to treatment

Delmont adds, “It might be that we’re prescribing treatments that require a certain environment, certain conditions in their home which unfortunately they are unable to obtain for themselves. It may be that they need someone to accompany them and they don’t have that because their family members are all working and can’t be absent from their job because they don’t get paid if they don’t show up.”

Dr. Delmont, who is of Venezuelan origin, is very familiar with these people’s situation. This is why, although her work has a strong administrative aspect, it’s also combined with the will to humanize medicine, something that is essential to SOMOS.

“These are things that perhaps aren’t in medical textbooks, but which are daily realities for patients, and which truly limit their access” to medical attention. With her work, she seeks to minimize the challenges and overcome obstacles to bring better medical attention to people in New York who turn to this network of primary care physicians.