Welcome to EthnoMed

We provide information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and other topics related to the health care of immigrants to the US, many of whom are refugees.

Why EthnoMed?

EthnoMed aims to be a convenient source for social and cultural details relevant to clinical care. EthnoMed was developed through relationships between programs at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and several of the larger ethnic communities we serve. The website intends to provide cultural context for the newly arrived groups in our area with whom we work. It is far from exhaustive. It is also an entree to “cross-cultural” practice.

Cultural context is critical for patient care. The cultural details relevant for diagnosis and treatment include dietary practices, religious life, healing practices, traditional beliefs, cultural norms, and social routines.  These details are important background information for busy clinicians seeing members of these communities, especially if there are covert cultural assumptions made in taking a history or designing a therapeutic plan.  To inquire about differences, and design care congruent with those differences, is safe patient-centered care.  

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Who is EthnoMed for?

EthnoMed was developed for clinicians and health care providers working with immigrant and refugee populations in the greater Seattle area. Our website provides information about immigration, cultural norms and values, experience with Western medicine, culture specific information and tools pertinent to the clinical encounter, and translated/culturally tailored information for patients. Our audience includes:

  • Primary care providers
  • Pediatricians
  • Community health workers
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Medical librarians
  • Social workers
  • Health educators
  • Others working with immigrant and refugee populations