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From The CriticsReviewer: Nasri Jacir, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This valuable book provides the cultural background healthcare professionals need in order to treat Latino patients.
Purpose: The main objective is to provide a social, cultural and historical context in which to treat Latino patients. It is a valuable asset for those healthcare professionals who are now handling one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.
Audience: The book can be used by novice medical students, residents, and attending physicians. It is simple enough for the beginner and comprehensive enough for the highly specialized professional.
Features: The book is organized into three parts that make access to the information rather easy. The first part introduces the demographics, statistics, and trends in the Latino population. The second is reserved for individual ethnic groups, and the last part discusses special issues in dealing with the Latino population. One can read the book as a whole or benefit from using it as a reference in tackling particular patient issues. The section dealing with particular ethnic groups is particularly powerful. One starts to look at Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans in light of their unique cultural, political and socioeconomic environments. It has helped me, for example, understand the political atmosphere during which one of my patients emigrated from Communist Cuba.
Assessment: This is a useful work because it provides information that can supplement our traditional medical model in approaching our Latino patients. In addition to giving medication and providing psychotherapy, we live in a world where we need to understand the cultural, religious, political, and socioeconomic factors that influence our patients. This book provides a solid knowledge base on which to build.