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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The Time Objection: Cross-Cultural Care and the Ever-Shortening Office Visit

By Alexander Green, MD, MPH on 5/1/18 8:38 AM

The most common objection

I've given hundreds of presentations on culturally-competent care to busy clinicians around the world. At the end of my talk, someone always asks the "time question." I know plenty of other clinicians are thinking it, but don’t want to appear insensitive. So I wait for a brave soul to say, “Dr. Green, you’re telling me that if I want to be culturally competent, I have to do all of these things on top of what I already have to cover? I have to ask my patients how they understand their condition? What their religious practices are? Whether they trust me? I’d love to—but I just don’t have time!”

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News Roundup | Week of March 2, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 3/2/18 1:59 PM

Bias Impacts Research in Precision Medicine

Unconscious bias can lead to negative outcomes for disadvantage patient populations, even when that bias occurs behind-the-scenes in research settings. A new report from Data & Society identifies several ways that datasets can become biased, including historical bias, analytical bias, and access to different types of genetic data. “Bias through invisibility—such as lack of data on certain factors—can trigger discriminatory outcomes just as easily as explicitly problematic data,” note the authors.

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What Are Leading Organizations Doing to Achieve Health Equity?

By Megan Bedford on 9/28/17 1:07 PM

This has been a banner year for Moffitt Cancer Center, with five national distinctions honoring their steadfast commitment to equitable care, including recent recognition from the American Hospital Association (AHA) naming Moffitt an Equity of Care Award honoree.

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