This month, Dr Sonia Singh discusses cultural communication in general practice. Dr Singh co-ordinated a session at the last RVTS workshop on “Cultural Diversity”. During the session, consults were presented by registrars in a traditional setting in their own language. Guessing the context of the consult from the dynamics and body language revealed implicit biases. The consultations were then spoken in English, followed by insightful discussions. Sonia speaks about the lessons learned:
Teaching cultural communication is done best by those from various cultures. Ask someone from a different culture: What is healthcare like in your culture? How are decisions made there? How is it different to Australia? How is it similar? What do I need to know to be able to treat someone from your culture effectively?
Learning to communicate effectively with various cultures is essential to improve health outcomes for all. There is no better way than to start conversations that lead to better insights.