6 keys to practicing multicultural medicine

May 25, 2012

Nowadays, many doctors' offices resemble cultural melting pots. With these suggestions, you, too, can enhance your practice in such a diverse setting.

Key Points

My next patient, Nora, talked excitedly about going on her first hajj-the pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the basic requirements of Islam. Her mother didn't want her to get her period during this long journey, so we had a discussion about using contraceptives to minimize menses.

ONE CITY, MANY CULTURES

My parents emigrated from Taiwan to Illinois before I was born. Therefore, although I consider myself American, I have strong Asian influences. My parents made my siblings and me learn Taiwanese and Chinese, taught us about the culture, and took us on trips to Taiwan. I was introduced to reflexology when I wasn't allowed to take medicine for headaches or cramps. Instead of cough syrup for coughs, I took herbal medicine. I got nasal massages and washes for sinus pain and regular earlobe massages to build up my immunity and lengthen my life.