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Seeing Patients Cradle to Grave on the U.S. Mexico Border | 30 Days, 30 Clinicians

MCN Adrian Billings[Editor’s Note: Happy Birthday, Migrant Clinicians Network! To celebrate our 30th anniversary this month, we are highlighting one clinician each day who has been honored in 30 Clinicians Making a Difference​​​, in which we profile the work of 30 diverse migrant clinicians from across the country and abroad.]

Adrian Billings, MD, has spent most of his career along the US/Mexico border near sleepy Presidio, Texas -- a land of vast desert claiming itself “the real frontier” on the city’s welcome sign. People arrive to enjoy the cactus blooms and extra-starry night skies in nearby Big Bend National Park, or to attend motorcycle rides through downtown, or a UFO festival. But the area recently hit the news for another reason: the health of its residents. Despite difficult access to care in the isolated town, which is often hundreds of miles from specialists, Presidio County was recently found to have some of the longest-living residents in the country. The county got third place in life expectancy, determined by research collected by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.

Perhaps part of the reason for the high life expectancy is the work of practitioners like Dr. Billings. As a family practitioner, he takes care of his patients from cradle to grave: delivering babies, assisting geriatric patients, and everything in between. As a clinician in a low-income, sparsely-populated rural frontier, he cares for people of Presidio County, and a hundred miles beyond, in his sprawling coverage area along the US-Mexico border. Of course, challenges come with the territory. Read about Dr. Billings’ career and his work in “Seeing Patients Cradle to Grave on the US/Mexico Border: A Profile in Commitment."  

Help us honor the work of Dr. Billings by sharing his profile. And, make sure to check out the profiles of all 30 clinicians at the 30 Clinicians Making a Difference webpage.

Like our work? Consider making a donation to MCN to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

 

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