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  • Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist

  • A Doctor Reflects on Ten Years at a Refugee Clinic
  • Written by: Martina Scholtens MD
  • Narrated by: Ada Balon
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins

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Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist

Written by: Martina Scholtens MD
Narrated by: Ada Balon
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Publisher's Summary

Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist draws listeners into the complicated, poignant, and often-overlooked daily happenings of a busy urban medical clinic for refugees.

An Iraqi journalist whose son has been been murdered develops post-traumatic stress disorder and mourns his loss of vocation. A Congolese woman refuses antiretroviral treatment for her new HIV diagnosis, and instead places her trust in Jesus. Two conservative Muslim Iraqi women are inadvertently exposed to pornography when a doctor uses Google Images to supplement a medical discussion. By turns humorous, distressing, and moving, these stories offer insight into the people seeking a new life while navigating poverty, language barriers, and neighbors who aren’t always friendly.

This riveting collection of true stories from Dr. Martina Scholtens is filled with hope and humor, and together make up a deeply moving portrait of how one doctor attempts to provide quality care and advocacy for patients while remaining culturally sensitive, even as she wrestles with guilt, awareness of her own privilege, the faith she was raised with, and vicarious trauma after hearing countless stories of brutality and suffering.

In the spirit of Louise Aronson and Atul Gawande, Scholtens’ writing is based on her personal experiences and explores the transformative moments in which a clinical doctor-patient relationship becomes a profound human-human connection.

©2017 Martina Scholtens, MD (P)2022 Brindle & Glass

What the critics say

“Both an eye-opening account for Canadians wanting to understand the challenges facing refugees and a strong argument for refugee health, including mental health, to receive dedicated treatment and funding .… Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist is also about the person in the white coat: a mother trying to find balance between the personal and professional, an a doctor whose patients expand her notions of what a doctor should be.” — Jade Colbert, Globe and Mail

Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist is a pleasure from start to finish: timely and timeless, intimate and wise, compelling and informative. Scholtens offers an insider's view of doctoring, powerful stories of refugees creating new lives in North America, and a personal account of balancing motherhood, medicine, and self.” — Louise Aronson, founding co-director, University of California San Francisco Medical Humanities and award-winning author of A History of the Present Illness

“Captivating … Several stories highlight what being a physician entails, including being a healer, advocate, and educator, and often going above and beyond for your patients.… I urge anyone interested in primary care or refugee health, along with anyone who would like an honest view about providing culturally sensitive health care, to give this book a read.” —Yvonne Sin, MD, British Columbia Medical Journal

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