Dr. Williams is culturally biased. He handles his patients differently depending on their cultures and their socio-economic status. He is insensitive to other cultures and this aspect greatly influences the decisions of the families he works with adversely affecting the health outcomes of their patients. In addition, Dr. Williams is inconsiderate and his approach to patients from “other” cultures is prejudicial.
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He hardly understands how people from different cultures behave and doesn’t know how to handle children. He is not inquisitive. He merely makes assumptions concerning his patients’ cultures and backgrounds. By making assumptions about his the families he works with, he overlooks the socio-economic factors affecting them.
By using technical medical terms without worrying about the families’ health literacy, Dr. Williams jeopardizes the ultimate health outcomes of the children. It is also important to note that Dr. William is culturally incompetent. His values, attitudes, and practices do not allow him to work effectively with multiple cultures (Core concepts in cultural competence 2009).
He doesn’t “honor and respect the beliefs, languages, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of families and children receiving his medical services.” Dr Williams does not respect his patients’ health beliefs. He disregards families’ beliefs about what causes illnesses and their preferred treatment plans. This shortfall inevitably disappoints the families he deals with thereby causing discontentment and dissatisfaction with his clientele.
Ultimately, the families Dr William works with ends up getting inadequate, poor, and unsatisfactory treatment thereby endangering the lives of children he handles.
Culture, ethnicity, race, and socio-economic status play significant roles in shaping families’ experiences in the healthcare system.
In their study, Smedley, Stith, and Nelson (2002) argue that “the cultures of racial and ethnic minorities greatly influence the choice of their health care delivery system including how families from a given cultural group communicates and their family support structures including their coping strategies, and even their readiness to seek medical treatment. According to Van Ryn and Burke (2000), most families attribute certain diseases to socio-cultural and ethnic factors.
Racial and ethnic minorities in the US live in socio-economic environments of inequality, which inevitably predisposes them violence, poverty, and racial discrimination. Studies have shown that poverty adversely affects families’ experiences in health care systems.
In fact, Smedley, Stith, and Nelson (2002) concur that poor families receive poor medical treatment compared to rich people who receive proper medical attention because they are adequately covered by medical insurance programs.
Racial discrimination severely affects families’ experiences in healthcare system. In addition, the culture of racial and ethnic minorities greatly determines the type of health services they receive. Some clinical environments hardly respect the cultures of people they serve and this deters minority groups an opportunity to receive efficient healthcare services.
In healthcare systems, disparities arise because of various reasons. They arise because of differences in access to healthcare systems and because of differences in the quality of healthcare delivered. Other factors that influence disparities in healthcare systems include access of health care services, infrastructural barriers such as transportation and one’s access to medical professionals, health care utilizations that is regular, acute, or chronic care including unnecessary hospital admissions.
Van Ryn and Burke (200) affirm that patients’ health literacy skills, cultural competency, and health information influence disparities in health outcomes.
Core concepts in cultural competence. (2009). Web.
Smedley, B., Stith, A., & Nelson, A. (2002). Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Massachusetts: Institute of Medicine.
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Van Ryn, M. & Burke, J. (2000). “The effect of Patient Race and Socio-economic Status on Physicians’ Perceptions on Patients.” Social Science & Medicine 50 (6): 813-828.