"I heard you can calculate my risk of a heart attack. Some kind of score?"
"You mean the Framingham Risk Score?"
"Yeah, I think that was it."
"Wait a second. You're homeless?"
"You were not always homeless."
"No. I was a lawyer in Burundi."
I don't think I realized before working in the clinic how common this is. People who were professionals in their home countries-- educated, high-status professionals-- who sacrifice everything to come here for a better life... and end up as home health aides, cab drivers, busboys, homeless-- the lowest-status workers in our society. It's a shame. And I always want to ask whether life is really better being a cab driver here than it was being a lawyer in Burundi. I expect the money is better. But I wonder if that's enough to make it worth it.