From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Doctors don't always get a second chance to make a good first impression with patients. One area that remains a challenge is bridging the gap between the doctor and the patient when they come from different cultural backgrounds.
At HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Dr. Carolyn Clancy has one example:
"A clinician calls an adult African American patient by her first name, intending to put the patient at ease, only it has the opposite effect. Instead, the patient feels disrespected." (10 seconds)
Clancy says the patient might be less willing now to follow the medical advice.
Clancy says clinicians need to be aware of these differences and make the adjustments. And she says patients can help by telling the clinician what they’d like, such as wanting to be called by the last name, with Mr. or Mrs.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011