Cultural Issues

Culture encompasses the acquired knowledge, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns shared by the members of a particular group of people. Common elements of cultures include language, diet, dress, and religion, among others. In the past, the typical person in any given culture had little if any contact with individuals from other cultures. But marked shifts in economic, social, and political arrangements, including unprecedented worldwide immigration flows, have ended such isolation. Thus, people are constantly interacting with others who embrace customs markedly different from their own; they might even live right next door to them. This creates the real possibility that a person faced with a significant medical issue will be dealing with a healthcare provider from another culture. Such cross-cultural encounters pose challenges to how ...

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