Multilingual doctor, Alifa Khan from Cranbourne, Victoria, is determined to using her language skills to help the elderly and migrant communities receive higher standards of medical care and services.
Born in Bangladesh, Dr Khan now practices at Unique Medical Centre, a new and well equipped modern practice in the heart of Cranbourne, where she hopes to contribute to the community in every possible way.
Dr Khan, who is fluent in Bengali and English and can understand Urdu and Hindi, said that knowing a language doesn’t only mean a new set of vocabularies, but rather it means understanding a different culture.
“This is more appropriate while treating elderly residents and new migrants coming to Australia from around the globe., Knowing these languages helps me to overcome the main barrier of communication and to treat the patients properly,” she said.
When Dr Khan first moved to Australia six years ago, she felt that she had to find a Bangladeshi GP to help to solve medical issues for herself and her family.
“This made me think that maybe it’ll be great if I can support those new migrants in need. Now, on multiple instances, my patients have expressed their gratitude for my efforts in their management. At the end of the day, I feel satisfied with what I am doing for myself and the community.”
For Dr Khan, the best part of her journey has been the experience itself which is still ongoing. Over last 6 years, she has become an Australian citizen and a Fellow GP from Royal college of General Practitioners.
But, more than this, Dr Khan said that the enormous love and respect she has received from the patients can never be compared with anything else.
“Last month, one of my 82 years old patient gifted me a hand-made throw blanket. Due to extreme tremor and poor eyesight, it’s difficult for her to sew it. But she still did and I didn’t know what to say.”
Dr Khan sees herself as a good Australian Muslim citizen and doctor whose utmost priority is to maintain the Australian standard of healthcare and follow all required guidelines and ethical responsibilities.
“I hope I’ll continue working in this community for a long time. I want to work with individuals and their families, thus knowing them better and contributing to the society and the communities from all backgrounds.”