With Diversity, Doctors Need to Know More: News Roundup

Training health care professionals in religio-cultural competence – so they can meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient constituency – is a concept that hasn’t quite hit the tipping point and is not often in the news. But with the release of two reports and an interview with a Texas doctor this week on the necessity of cultural sensitivity in health care, this type of training is getting the attention that it deserves.

 
 
Citing the 7 million Muslims in the United States and the fact that it’s currently the fastest growing religion in the country, Dr. Padela says,
 
 
The other report out this week is from the Joint Commission, a non-profit that evaluates hospitals. “Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals” says:
 
 
The report responds to the latest research with tips for improving communication, cultural competence and patient- and family-centered care.
 
 
He gives an example of when his knowledge of Judaism from his own Jewish background allowed him to be more sensitive to a patient’s needs. Sensing that scheduling heart surgery during Passover would be hard on his Jewish patient, Kessler says:
 
 
To that end, he underscores the need for health care professionals to get training in religio-cultural competence.
 
"Whether it's a class or reading the newspaper every day, it's incumbent upon you to get that training," he said. "That's what it means to be an informed citizen in this country."
 
Tanenbaum’s Religious Diversity in Health Care program was created to provide just that type of training. The need is there and it’s great to see leaders in the medical profession bringing awareness to this important issue.
 
To finish up, here are some other stories from around the web, including an update on Park51:
 
Around the Web:
 
 
Education Week News writes that the Supreme Court is snubbing religious-expression cases.
 
According to a study from Ohio State University Research News Service, evidence is no match against the belief in false rumors concerning the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque in Lower Manhattan.