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Culture, Language, And The Doctor-Patient Relationship, Warren J. Ferguson, Lucy M. Candib May 2002

Culture, Language, And The Doctor-Patient Relationship, Warren J. Ferguson, Lucy M. Candib

Family Medicine and Community Health Publications and Presentations

BACKGROUND: This review's goal was to determine how differences between physicians and patients in race, ethnicity and language influence the quality of the physician-patient relationship.

METHODS: We performed a literature review to assess existing evidence for ethnic and racial disparities in the quality of doctor-patient communication and the doctor-patient relationship.

RESULTS: We found consistent evidence that race, ethnicity; and language have substantial influence on the quality of the doctor-patient relationship. Minority patients, especially those not proficient in English, are less likely to engender empathic response from physicians, establish rapport with physicians, receive sufficient information, and be encouraged to participate ...