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.
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 when working with immigrants and refugees in our area. It is also an entree to “cross-cultural” practice.
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.
It is important to remember that simply because a person is identified as a member of a particular ethnic group or religion does not necessarily mean that the person or the person’s family has the set of beliefs that may be associated with the ethnicity or religion. An assessment should be made of how acculturated a person and their family are, their language skills, and whether an interpreter is needed. Be aware of some of the overall cultural values of the community and then explore the pertinent themes as they relate to providing health care for individual patients. Remember there is great diversity within community. Experiences will vary greatly depending, for example, on whether people lived in rural or urban communities in their countries of origin, how long they have been in the United States, immigration process, former occupations and levels of education. Remember that patients are individuals and are not defined by their cultural group.