Case and commentary: How should allopathic physicians respond to native American patients hesitant about allopathic medicine?

Madison L. Esposito, Michelle Kahn-John

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

American Indian (AI) and Indigenous peoples utilize traditional medicine/healing (TM/H) for health and well-being. Allopathic health care practitioners (HCPs) receive minimal training and education on TM/H and its application and integration into health care settings. Lack of knowledge and practice guidelines on how to navigate these 2 health care perspectives (allopathic and traditional) creates uncertainties in the treatment of AI and Indigenous peoples. Such conflicts can undermine patient autonomy and result in culturally incongruent practice. This article presents a case study showcasing suggestions for how HCPs can direct clinical decision making when working with AI/Indigenous patients who utilize TM/H. The article argues that health professions education institutions and HCPs must dedicate effort to expanding awareness of and education about TM/H to enhance the delivery of evidence-based and integrated clinical treatment for AI/Indigenous patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E837-E844
JournalAMA journal of ethics
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy

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