Show Examines Films that Teach Cultural Sensitivity in Care to Medical Students
PRI's "The World" on June 19 reports on short documentary films designed to teach medical students cultural sensitivity (Kaplan, "The World," PRI, 6/19). "Worlds Apart," a film series to be released next summer, follows immigrant patients and their families making medical decisions and navigating the U.S. health care system. The films were produced by Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics filmmaker-in-residence Dr. Maren Grainger-Monsen and were shot in patients' homes and neighborhoods, hospital wards, community clinics and medical schools (Stanford Web site). One film follows an Afghan man with stomach cancer whose family believes that removing the stomach tumor has cured him, thus causing "confusion" over the need for chemotherapy and an eight-month treatment delay. Further, the family and patient misunderstand the need for a continuous drug infusion pump, which they believe would make the patient "unclean" to perform daily Islamic prayers. A second film portrays a physician who came to understand a Laotian family's need to "turn to religion first" and thus "was able to make a convincing case for surgery" for a child with a hole in her heart. PRI reports that medical schools must include cultural competency in their curriculums to receive accreditation (Kaplan, "The World," PRI, 6/19). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer Audio.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.