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March 26, 1955

Cultural Difference and Medical Care: The Case of the Spanish-Speaking People of the Southwest

JAMA. 1955;157(13):1170. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950300098033

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The author attempts to establish the necessity for closer liaison between the social scientist and the healing arts by a study of the cultural anthropology of the Spanish American culture of the southwestern United States and the relation of that culture to the promotion of health programs. The medical status of typical families of the Southwest is described. A detailed ethnological study of the Spanish American culture of the Southwest is presented. The author then considers the basic question: "How can more and better health services and medical care be provided to any population whose members differ culturally or subculturally from those who have a professional responsibility to provide them?" The fundamental point of view expressed is: "The practice of the healing arts is to a considerable extent a social activity in which the course of the relationship is determined not only by the knowledge, skills, feelings, and attitudes of

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