Culture is much more than what we can see, as depicted by the image above image retrieved from http://www.picstop.com
Cultural competency is one of the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care. It’s the way patients and doctors can come together and talk about health concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation but actually enhancing it. Quite simply, health care services that are respectful of, and responsive to, the health beliefs, practices, cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients can help bring about positive health outcomes (US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health).
Culture should not be confused with ethnicity; “the shared patterns and thoughts that define cultures are also characteristic of groups distinguished by gender, age religion, occupation and others” (Joralemon 2010: 96-97).
-view this short video exploring some of the cultural issues encountered by patients in a health care setting-