Houstonian Dr. Ricardo Nuila Discusses Book ‘The People’s Hospital,’ Reflects On His Experience at Ben Taub Hospital
HOUSTON, May 4, 2023 — In partnership with Inprint, Dr. Ricardo Nuila joined Asia Society Texas for a conversation about his new book The People’s Hospital, which follows the stories of five uninsured patients facing life-threatening conditions – struggling to navigate through the healthcare system. Dr. Nuila, a writer, teacher, and practicing doctor, was joined in conversation by writer Tayyba Maya Kanwal. A book-signing followed the program, with books available for purchase onsite from Brazos Bookstore.
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Reflecting on his experiences, Dr. Nuila shared how working at Ben Taub, a public hospital in Houston, Texas, transformed his view on healthcare and served as a significant inspiration for his writing. Informed by his upbringing in a family of doctors and familiarity with insurance, Dr. Nuila elaborated that Ben Taub Hospital introduced him to people with no insurance, triggering reflections on both the human experience of healthcare and the American healthcare system.
Noting that privacy in the healthcare system has changed over time, Dr. Nuila specifically referred to the shift from communal emergency rooms to increased private spaces at the start of the 20th century. Around that time, according to Dr. Nuila, medicine also became to be more centered on the individual experience. Dr. Nuila highlighted how open spaces at Ben Taub aim to promote mind-changing experiences for patients, and shared when patients are waiting for treatment in an open room, the lives of others unfold around them – pushing some out of their comfort zone, but also providing solidarity and relationships with others.
In closing, Dr. Nuila emphasized the importance of public awareness that anyone, regardless of their background or economic situation, can receive excellent healthcare at Ben Taub Hospital.
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.