Understanding Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Understanding Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Understanding Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Understanding Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Understanding Cultural Diversity in Healthcare

Learn more about cultural diversity in healthcare. Explore the vast collection of resources curated just for you. And, read the book Caring for Patients from Different Cultures. 

  • Books and Handbooks
  • Articles
  • Education and Training
  • Films
  • Websites


Caring for Patients From Different Cultures, 5th edition
The definitive book on cultural differences in healthcare, written by Geri-Ann Galanti, contains over 300 case studies and examples of what can go wrong … and suggestions on how to make it right. A fun and informative guide to cultural competence.


Culture and Clinical Care
Each of 35 chapters, written by different authors and edited by Juliene Lipson & Suzanne Dibble, looks at a specific culture area with information relevant to clinical care.


Culture and the Clinical Encounter
A collection of “critical incidents” in health care settings by R.C. Gropper, offering the reader a choice of responses and discussion of each. Excellent resource for workshops.


Cultural Sensitivity: A Guidebook for Health Care Professionals, 2nd edition
A handy pocket reference guide, written by Geri-Ann Galanti and published by Joint Commission Resources contains the important principles underlying culturally competent health care. It provides easy access to potential patient behaviors and beliefs that impact your success in providing care.


The Culture Map
Although the book by Erin Meyer focuses on business, rather than healthcare, the cultural patterns identified can easily be related to healthcare settings.


Spirit Catches You...

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Anne Fadiman explores the tragic cultural clash between competent and caring doctors and a refugee family from Laos over the care of a young Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy.

Education & Training

Culture and Health Tutorial
It was developed by Geri-Ann Galanti for medical students and residents, but can be used by any interested healthcare professional or student. Looks at Stereotypes vs. Generalizations; Dimensions of Culture; the 4 C’s of Culture; Time Orientation; Removing Life Support; and Revealing a Fatal Diagnosis. Developed as part of a grant through the UC Schools of Medicine entitled “Statewide Initiative to Disseminate an End-of-Life Curriculum” funded through the National Cancer Institute. Each segment is 3-15 minutes long.

E-Learning Course: The Cultural Competence in Health Series
Developed by Geri-Ann Galanti for any professional who provides care for patients, including physicans, nurses, assistants, pharmacists and physical therapists. It earns 9 units of CME, and is offered through PerforMax3.

Religous and Cultural Competence for Medical Students
Free resource and curriculum for medical educators to improve the knowledge and practice skills of their students in caring for religiously and culturally diverse patients. Each module includes a PowerPoint presentation and facilitator’s guide. Geri-Ann Galanti was a consultant/reviewer of this resource.

Curriculum in Ethnogeriatrics
Designed as a teaching tool, this contains five modules on caring for the elderly across cultures.There are also 11 ethnic-specific modules, including African American, Hispanic/Latino, Chinese, Filipino, and Pakistani.

Council on Nursing and Anthropology
Academic organization of nurse-anthropologists who meet each year at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings. Their mission is to explore culture and client care, the teaching of culture, and the preparation of nurses as culturally competent caregivers.

Society for Medical Anthropology
A section of the American Anthropological Association, serving the needs of anthropologists and scholar activists who address issues of local, national and international health importance.

Transcultural Nursing Society
A nursing organization which seeks to provide nurses and other health care professionals with the knowledge base necessary to ensure cultural competence in practice, education, research, and administration. They have a yearly conference and publish a journal.


Patient Diversity: Beyond the Vital Signs
This comprehensive training program from CRM Learning features a 20-minute video and a Leader’s Guide with exercises and role-plays for 2-4 hours worth of training on the topic of cultural diversity in healthcare. Galanti was a consultant on the film and wrote the Leader’s Guide.  Read more…

Cultural Issues in the Clinical Setting-Series A and B
Kaiser Permanente’s award winning cultural issues are accompanied by support materials for facilitators and participants. The vignettes raise numerous issues around differing health beliefs and practices, conflicting values, stereotyping, overt and covert prejudices, and language barriers. The DVD is 70 minutes long and contains 10 vignettes. Download order form.  Read more…

Multicultural Health Series
Kaiser Permanente and The California Endowment collaborated on this set of case studies, accompanied by a facilitator’s discussion guide, focusing on cross-cultural interactions between patients of diverse backgrounds and their healthcare providers. There are a total of 10 vignettes, 6-11 minutes each. Download order form.  Read more…

Worlds Apart
A Four-Part Series on Cross-Cultural Healthcare from Fanlight Productions. It contains 4 documentaries, each highlighting a different ethnic group, disease, and cultural issue. Comes with an excellent facilitator’s guide. Films range from 10-14 minutes each.   Read more…



The Provider’s Guide to Quality & Culture
This comprehensive website is designed for clinicians to help them provide culturally competent healthcare. It contains an interesting Quality & Culture Quiz, as well as information on several ethnic groups, along with links and other resources.

EthnoMed Home Page
Contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and other related issues pertinent to the health care of recent immigrants to Seattle, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

Cross Cultural Health Care Program
Contains information on cultural competency training, interpreter training, and research projects.

Medical Anthropology
An online tutorial on how illness is traditionally perceived and cured around the world. It was created and is maintained by Dr. Dennis O’Neil, BehavioralSciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California.

American Academy of Pediatrics
Culturally Effective Care Toolkit to help practicing pediatricans and their office staff provide culturally effective care to their patients and families.

Think Cultural Health
This government website includes the latest information regarding CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service in Health and Health Care) Standards.

Specific Topics

Heart Healthy Recipes

Downloadable,heart-healthy cookbooks from the NIH on African American, Asian, Latino, and other dishes.

Food and Nutrition Information Center. Ethnic/Cultural Topic Page
Information on diet, health, and disease in a variety of ethnic groups.

Minority Health

The CDC’s website on minority health, with links to information, publications, reports, and resources. 

End of Life
Culturally Diverse Communities and End of Life Care
The American Academy of Family Physicians guidelines on end-of-life care for various ethnic communities.

Ethnic/Religious Groups
Website from  Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics looks at the challenges confronting Hispanics in American health care settings, and includes reflections and cases.

Internation Strategy and Policy Institute guidelines for health care providers when caring for Muslim patients and their families.

Native Americans
This National Library of Medicine website contains links to articles on many topics related to Native American health care, including traditional healing.

Female Genital Mutilation/Female Circumcision
Female Genital Mutilation Education & Networking Project
This extensive web site includes articles, case studies, discussion lists, and networking information.

Genetic Counseling
Genetic Counseling
Cultural and Linguistic Competence Toolkit for genetic counselors.

Health Information Translations
Provides handouts with information about health topics in multiple languages.

Medical Spanish for Healthcare Providers
The site is presented as a free medical Spanish immersion, with vocabulary including greetings, history, examination, and everyday speech, all with translation and audio. It is designed to be helpful for a variety of medical personnel.