Doctor Establishes Trust By Embracing Patients’ Cultural Beliefs
“If we don’t address cultural beliefs, a patient may be less willing to accept the medical provider’s explanation of a disease or condition and follow a prescribed treatment," Dr. Enrique Gonzalez-Mendez says.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Santa Rosa Doctor Utilizes Culture In Patient Treatment
Enrique Gonzalez-Mendez developed a strong desire to help people while growing up in Mexico City. Now, as a family physician in Santa Rosa and a clinical professor at UCSF, he funnels that inclination into treating his patients and teaching other doctors how to honor the cultural needs of the underserved. His specialty is known in the industry as “cultural competency,” or delivering health care that honors a patient’s social, cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs, a national concern these days because of the challenges it poses. Every culture has a system of beliefs to explain what causes illness and how it’s treated; the trust and rapport patients have with their doctor goes a long way toward helping them recover. (Hart, 8/30)