In the fall of 2016, Tara Torabi met her first patient over the phone, a woman in her 30s with a muscle weakness that has stymied doctors. Since then Torabi has called her patient on the phone every week to check in and make sure she has transportation to her appointments and is taking her medications. Sometimes she calls just to make sure she’s OK.
When she calls, there’s always a third person on the line, an interpreter fluent in English and Arabic. The patient is a refugee from Iraq, and Torabi is a first-year medical student serving as her patient navigator.