A Checklist to Facilitate Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity

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United States of America demographic profiles illustrate a nation rich in cultural and racial diversity. Approximately 29% of the population are minorities and demographic projections indicate an increase to 50% by the year 2050. This creates a highly mobile and constantly changing environment, revealing the need for new levels of cultural awareness and sensitivity. These issues are particularly critical in the medical community where medical professionals must understand the impact cultural differences and barriers can have on evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation. During times of stress, such as when injury strikes, problems associated with lack of cultural sensitivity are intensified. Cultural diversity is of particular concern when standard measures for diagnosis and prognosis are derived from established norms for responding, because culture defines norms. This paper details a ten point checklist designed to facilitate cultural awareness and sensitivity in medical settings to ensure maximum successful recovery and outcomes for all patients.