In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell, we discuss how to provide culturally sensitive care.
How have you been able to implement culturally sensitive care in your practice?
Dr. Edward Hallowell:
“I hope I’m implementing culturally sensitive care in my practice. But I don’t doubt that I’m missing the mark sometimes. I have my blind spots like everyone else. But I try to remain culturally sensitive.
I don’t see a lot of minority patients. For whatever reason, they don’t come to see me. So, I can’t say I serve them well except through my books and forums like MD Newsline, where I can reach out to them. I know they need to be served better. And I wish they would come to see me, but for various reasons—access, money, insurance, and other resources—they don’t.
But I try to remain attuned to cultural differences, gender differences, and all of my other blind spots. I try to correct my blind spots, but I’m sure I miss them at times. And I think that’s the kind of humble position we need to take to grow as healthcare providers.
I’m 72 years old. I come from a different generation. But for me to stay young, current, and attuned to cultural sensitivity in my practice, I need to be willing to be humble and corrected when I’m wrong and when I miss the mark. All of those things are often very hard for doctors to do. We all need to work on that, myself included.”
Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.