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Article   |    
Training Psychiatric Staff to Treat a Multicultural Patient Population
James L. Collins; Clyde B. Mathura; Debra L. Risher
Psychiatric Services 1984; doi:
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Howard University College of Medicine, 2041 Georgia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20060

1984 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Cultural and linguistic barriers have long been problems in establisbing an effective therapeutic alliance between patients and therapists from different cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The current emphasis on cultural psychiatry has stimulated the inclusion of culturally relevant material in the curricuia of American psychiatric residency programs, such as the program at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. After a preliminary study of foreign patients treated on the psychiatry service, the department of psychiatry established a program of seminars and didactic sessions intended to familiarize staff and trainees with cultural patterns of the largest groups of foreign students attending the university. The department also participated in a transcultural fellowship program for medical students sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association and the National Institute of Mental Health. After describing the programs, the authors briefly discuss such culturally related issues as foreign patients' return to their original language when they develop psychiatric illnesses.

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