Doctors making a difference in a medical desert

Doctors making a difference in a medical desert

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Doctors in Memphis are reaching out to help those in neighborhoods with little access to healthcare.

"You get a total package here," Diego Espinoza, resident doctor, said.

Espinoza works at Resurrection Healthcare, but that's not all.

"I choose it every day. I continue to choose to be here to work among the poor, the needy and those who need health care the most," Espinoza said.

Although he works at Resurrection Health on American Way and Delta Medical Center in Whitehaven, he lives in Frayser. It is a neighborhood known as a medical desert. There is no easy access to healthcare.

"Here in Shelby County, there are a lot more patients needing doctors, where in other parts of Memphis, there are doctors competing for patients," Espinoza said.

When Espinoza leaves his job, his day only begins.

Together with his wife, who has a PhD in Food Science, they build relationships with neighbors and help with healthcare needs. In many cases, he helps avoid an unnecessary trip to the ER or walk-in clinic.

Espinoza is only one of several doctors involved in reaching medical desert communities in Shelby County. Patients said the efforts paid off.

"He's a great help. He helps with my toothaches, my kids, especially this one. This is my preemie," Casey Jackson, resident, said.

Jackson moved in the neighborhood about seven months ago. Her family developed a relationship with Espinoza and his family, while also taking advantage of his knowledge.

"From the time I met him, I was pregnant, to when I had him, he was able to guide me through it," Jackson said.

Espinoza said it is about building relationships in the community.

He said he, along with dozens of other Resurrection Health resident doctors, are simply here to serve.

"I'm not a super hero. I didn't come into the world to save it. We do community. We are a community, so we make ourselves available," Espinoza said.

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