CULTURAL ISSUES > Multicultural Philosophy
We believe diversity should be defined broadly. It can include race and ethnicity, religion and spirituality, socio-economic status, geographic identification, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, and other factors. Culture - a shared system of symbols, language, rituals, roles, and rules of behavior - reflects the learned values, norms, and beliefs that give meaning to those symbols, rituals, and roles.
Thus your culture will influence your expectations, meanings, and experience of health, illness, and end of life within the healthcare system. It is critically important to realize that diversity is complex. Everyone will each have his or her own individual culture based on multiple associations. Even people within the same family may vary culturally. We are expert only on our own personal culture.
In addition, the healthcare community has its own culture. As a result, all patient-provider interactions are cross-cultural interactions.