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Abstract Detail

70 Years After Schultes: Economic Botany from the Andes to the Amazon

Vandebroek, Ina [1], Balick, Michael [2].

Ethnobotany and Medical Education.

Background: Ethnobotany is a useful tool for medical education, particularly of value in informing and training health care providers in becoming more culturally sensitive to the knowledge, beliefs and practices of patients from diverse cultures. The use of ethnobotanical information in the clinical encounter is pivotal in establishing a relationship of trust between physicians and their minority and often underserved patients, and to promote an environment where the use of herbal remedies by patients is more readily disclosed. Non-disclosure may be potentially harmful, as unforeseen drug-herb interactions are possible if herbal remedies are taken concomitantly with prescribed medications.Methodology: A series of information sessions, practical exercises and guided visits were designed to train healthcare providers and students from medical institutions in New York City (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiori Medical Center, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Columbia University Medical Center), including PowerPoint presentations, role play exercises, medical Spanish training, ethnomedical interview exercises, and guided visits to local herbal shops, called Botanicas.Results: The training sessions were very well received. A self-administered evaluation instrument in cultural competence showed significant improvement in the knowledge, attitudes and skills of the learner groups after the training. Next steps: Currently, cultural competency training mostly exists as elective classes in the medical curriculum. Additional research and advocacy is needed to gather more comparative ethnobotanical information from different cultural groups that can be converted into curricular materials and promote the role of ethnobotany in medical cultural competency training.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 10548, USA
2 - New York Botanical Garden, 200th St And Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA

medical education
cultural competence
cultural sensitivity

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY07
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: SY07013
Abstract ID:376

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