I find out what brings them here, what ails their body and what ails their mind. I try to make sense of their lives. I discuss their illnesses, their medications, their often unimaginable tales. Some speak English, a lot don't. There is often an interpreter in the room. I've heard many African and Asian languages and I've gotten good at figuring out what African country someone is from by listening to them and looking at them.
Too many times someone's English isn't good and they don't bring an interpreter. It can be painstaking for them to tell me why they're here and painstaking for me to figure it out. It's not just that they don't speak our language but they've come from such a different culture and view their bodies differently. For instance, Somalis often think there is something wrong with their liver or kidneys but when I ask them to point to the pain, it's not where these organs are.
I try and make sense out of their chaotic lives as I describe their problems succinctly in the computer for the doctor. Now they wait again. They might be here most of their day.