To the Editor I read with interest the Research Letter by Weeks et al1 in which surgeons from the US military have delivered humanitarian surgical care to local national civilians in war zones. The authors raise the important issue of preparing US surgeons for deployment.
Cultural sensitivity is critical in these endeavors, in particular for deployed medical personnel.2 There are many different potential culture clashes that deployed troops can experience in a religious and conservative country.3 It has been well documented that some US troops’ misunderstanding of Iraqi culture when they first entered into the region led to failure of “winning hearts and minds.”4
Jindal RM. Cultural Sensitivity in Deployed US Medical Personnel. JAMA Surg. Published online February 21, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.6200
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