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25 Tips for Working through Language and Cultural Barriers in Your Medical Practice

25 Tips for Working through Language and Cultural Barriers in Your Medical Practice


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This article is written by a practice management consultant who has graduate-level linguistics training and second-language teaching credentials and experience. It offers 25 practical tips to help you communicate more effectively with individuals who are outside of your native culture and language. These include easy-to-implement tips about English language pronunciation, grammar, and word choice. This article also suggests what you can do personally to bridge the cultural divide with your patients and co-workers. Finally, this article includes a case study of one Virginia practice in which cultural differences interfered with the practice’s smooth operation. It explains how the practice eventually worked through and overcame this cultural obstacle.