Cultural competency turnabout: Teach immigrants English, American culture
LETTER — Posted May 16, 2005
Regarding "Cultural competency now law in New Jersey" (Article, April 25): Yet another set of responsibilities is being foisted off on physicians by the government. We will now need to learn "cultural competency" which, I suppose, you can have it mean whatever you want
You state that "an Illinois Senate bill would create a voluntary program to teach foreign languages and cultural understanding to physicians." Which of more than 150 languages that immigrants speak would be required and why? What cultures are we suppose to understand? Why those cultures and not others?
Here is a shocking proposal. Why not have immigrants be required to learn English and teach them American culture, so they can integrate into our society? Why is the tail wagging the dog?
Robert F. LaPorta, PhD, MD, Dix Hills, N.Y.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/05/16/edlt0516.htm.