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Cultural Awareness in Healthcare: A Checklist

By Alexander Green, MD, MPH on 2/14/19 11:33 AM


Managing cultural differences in healthcare

Culture is a complex concept. It includes people’s beliefs, values, behaviors, and ways of understanding their world. In medicine, managing cultural differences—including customs—is essential to providing high-quality health care. One challenge is that patients may not realize they have customs that could jeopardize their wellness. Culture is largely invisible to people who share it. But to outsiders, the customs and ways of life of different cultures are often obvious—and sometimes strange. Here's an example from my own experience:

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