This Boston Doctor Makes House Calls to the Homeless

CBS Evening News via YouTube
CBS Evening News via YouTube / CBS Evening News via YouTube

While health care remains a perpetual topic of conversation across all demographics, the nation’s homeless often find their marginalized status in society means medical care can be fleeting at best. Dr. Jim O’Connell, a physician based in Boston, Massachusetts, isn’t satisfied with that. And he’s devoted his career in medicine to doing something about it.

According to a profile by CBS News, Dr. O’Connell and a team of psychologists and social workers make their rounds on the city’s streets, treating and following up with more than 700 homeless patients. The services are part of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, a grant-funded organization that aims to improve the quality of life for the area’s homeless population by providing medical care, mental health treatment, and substance abuse treatment.

The physician is able to maintain charts on his patients and track any changes in their medical status. Minor attention for cuts or scrapes can be tended to on the street. If any major intervention is required, he’s able to find them a bed in a local shelter for further treatment.

O’Connell had originally planned on getting into oncology and planned only to stay one year with the program. That was 32 years ago. “I feel like I’m a country doctor in the middle of the city, you know?” he said.

[h/t CBS News]