Cultural Expectations and Challenges HCS 321 Discussion

Read Chapter 5 in Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Ayonrinde article.  Cassidy (2011) considers cultural relativity and cultural constructs to provide an overview of the potential interactions that can occur when patients seek health care. Ayonrinde discusses cultural sensitivity in therapeutic applications. Using the cultural criteria below, create a patient profile using at least four of these characteristics.  

  • Gender
  • Age (18 to 35, 36 to 55, 56 to 70, 70+)
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Nation/place of origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion

For example, your patient may be a 22-year-old woman who is a practicing Hindu from India.  Consider the patient’s relationship to his or her care provider in the United States based on your chosen profile.  Determine the specific needs and expectations the patient would have from the provider. Include the potential challenges the patient may face when visiting a provider of a different cultural group as well as one who represents the biomedical model of health care provision. Also include a substantive discussion on how differing concepts of sickness, disease, and imbalance can thwart the therapeutic encounter.  Finally, include a discussion on what your chosen cultural group would expect in terms of the practitioner’s approach to health and disease.    

Your post must address all five topics (identifying the individual, addressing his or her needs, expectations, and challenges, as well as the practitioner’s approach to health and disease) in detail.  Support your position with at least one scholarly or peer-reviewed source.

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Creating patient profiles is an important aspect of a healthcare provider’s job. Medical professionals need to be culturally sensitive to provide appropriate care for individuals from diverse backgrounds. In this assignment, students are required to create a patient profile based on specific cultural criteria, and discuss the challenges and expectations of the patient and provider. Additionally, the differing concepts of sickness, disease, and imbalance are explored, along with the practitioner’s approach to health and disease.


The patient profile that I have created is a 56-year-old African American male, who is a practicing Baptist Christian. He originates from the Southern United States but has lived in the North for the last 20 years. He identifies as heterosexual and is currently employed as a construction worker.

As a provider, I would need to understand that this patient may have unique cultural and religious beliefs that influence his health-seeking behavior and treatment preferences. For example, his religious beliefs may prohibit him from seeking certain types of treatment or engaging in certain behaviors.

The patient may also have certain expectations of me as his provider. He may expect that I understand and respect his cultural and religious beliefs and tailor my treatment to align with his preferences. Additionally, he may expect that I have experience working with patients from diverse backgrounds.

However, there may also be challenges the patient will face when visiting a provider from a different cultural group, such as communication barriers or stereotyping by healthcare providers. Additionally, the patient may struggle with trust issues due to historical racism and discrimination within the healthcare system.

The differing concepts of sickness, disease, and imbalance can also play a role in the therapeutic encounter. For example, traditional African American cultural beliefs may view illness as a result of spiritual or supernatural causes rather than biological factors. Understanding and respecting these beliefs can help improve the therapeutic relationship.

From the practitioner’s approach to health and disease perspective, the patient may expect treatment options that involve natural remedies, as many African Americans have a preference for traditional healing practices. Additionally, he may have concerns about the potential for side effects or long-term health consequences of treatments offered through the biomedical model of healthcare provision.

In conclusion, creating patient profiles is crucial for healthcare providers to tailor their treatment approaches with cultural sensitivity. The patient’s unique cultural and religious beliefs must be considered, and the provider must strive to understand their expectations and challenges. Additionally, recognizing and respecting differing concepts of sickness, disease, and imbalance can help establish trust and a more meaningful therapeutic encounter.

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