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Medicine and Culture: Transcultural Needs in Modern Western Societies

By Kólá Abímbólá


A distinction can be made between two types of cultural diversity in the practice of medicine: cultural diversity among the individuals involved in healthcare settings (i.e. doctors, nurses, patients, etc.), and diversity in the health paradigms now prevalent in contemporary modern societies (e.g. orthodox Western medicine, Chinese acupuncture, Indian ayurveda and Yorùbá medicine). In contrast to the received view, in which diversity is regarded as 'challenging' or 'problematic' for the provision and delivery of optimal healthcare, this paper argues that because health, wellbeing and wellness are themselves cultural goods in all paradigms of medicine, it is always possible to perform transcultural assessments of the methods, theories and practices adopted in specific paradigms of medicine

Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1258/135626207780559897
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