March 30, 2009

Different views of medical care

Docs' new guidelines

College wants grads to be more sensitive to aboriginalsThe organization that sets national standards for medical specialists and surgeons wants all graduating physicians to become "culturally sensitive" to aboriginal patients, whose attitudes toward medicine can differ profoundly from mainstream Canada.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recently unveiled new education "modules" for medical residents in obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry and family medicine. They introduce doctor trainees to the basics of indigenous culture.

"Many First Nations, Inuit and Metis people have had negative experiences with the mainstream health-care system, often because of cultural differences between the patient or client and the health-care provider," says the curriculum briefing book.
And: How traditional aboriginal culture and mainstream western culture differ:


- Community is foremost value
- Knowledge is transmitted orally
- The world is understood mythically
- Goals are met with patience
- Eye contact is thought overly assertive
- A handshake is soft, signalling no threat
- A faith in harmony with nature


- Individualism is foremost value
- Tradition of printing and literacy
- The world is understood scientifically
- Goals are met with aggressive effort
- Eye contact is part of conversation
- A handshake is firm, assertive
- A faith in scientific control of nature

Source: Aboriginal Human Resources Council
Comment:  For Stephen's sake, let me point out that these are generalizations. They don't apply to many Indians, especially those who live off the rez in cities.

For more on the subject, see The Basic Indian Stereotypes.

Below:  A non-Native attempt to control nature.

No comments: