Making House Calls To People Without Homes

”Dr. Jim Wither’s operates his practice with a simple idea: The best way to care for the homeless is to treat them where they live.

Dr. Jim Withers’ office fits into a small, backpack, which he carries with him every night on the streets of Pittsburgh. He and a small team of outreach workers and medical students are practicing what’s called “street medicine” — a term Dr. Withers coined in the early nineties. The idea behind street medicine is simple: a homeless person is not likely to visit a doctor when they’re sick or a hospital when they’re hurt, so the best way to get them treatment is to visit them where they live. On any given night Withers and his team are under bridges, on the steps of churches and in McDonald’s bathrooms offering free check-ups, over the counter medications and treatments.”

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