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      The challenges of cross-cultural research and teaching in family medicine: How can professional networks help?

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          Modern medical training emphasizes the value of understanding the patient’s ideas, concerns and expectations, and the use of their personal perspective to assist communication, diagnosis, and uptake of all appropriate health and treatment options. This requires doctors to be ‘culturally sensitive’, which “… involves an awareness and acceptance of cultural differences, self-awareness, knowledge of a patient’s culture, and adaptation of skills”. Yet most of us work in one country, and often one community, for much of our professional careers. Those who enter into academic pursuits will similarly be constrained by our own backgrounds and experiences, even though universities and medical schools often attract a multicultural membership. We therefore rely on our professional training and networks to extend our scope and understanding of how cultural issues impact upon our research and its relevance to our discipline and curricula. This article uses a reflexive narrative approach to examine the role and value of international networks through the lens of one individual and one organisation. It explores the extent to which such networks assist cross cultural sensitivity, using examples from its networks, and how these can (and have) impacted on greater cross-culturalism in our teaching and research outputs.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Interprofessional teamwork: professional cultures as barriers.

           Ian P Hall (2005)
          Each health care profession has a different culture which includes values, beliefs, attitudes, customs and behaviours. Professional cultures evolved as the different professions developed, reflecting historic factors, as well as social class and gender issues. Educational experiences and the socialization process that occur during the training of each health professional reinforce the common values, problem-solving approaches and language/jargon of each profession. Increasing specialization has lead to even further immersion of the learners into the knowledge and culture of their own professional group. These professional cultures contribute to the challenges of effective interprofessional teamwork. Insight into the educational, systemic and personal factors which contribute to the culture of the professions can help guide the development of innovative educational methodologies to improve interprofessional collaborative practice.
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            Rescuing narrative from qualitative research

            We review some of the recent trends that have made the collection and exploration of narratives especially prominent among the social sciences. While we acknowledge the significance of narratives in many aspects of social life, we sound a note of caution concerning the popularity of ‘narratives’, and ‘testimony’, not least among ‘qualitative’ researchers. We suggest that too many authors are complicit in the general culture of ‘the interview society’, and are too ready to celebrate narratives and biographical accounts, rather than subjecting them to systematic analysis. In the same way, we suggest that the contemporary fashion for ‘autoethnography’ too often leads to unreflective uses of personal accounts.
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              Mintzberg on management: inside our strange world of organizations


                Author and article information

                Family Medicine and Community Health
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                April 2016
                May 2016
                : 4
                : 2
                : 36-40
                1Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Earlham Road, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; and President Elect, WONCA – Bangkok, Thailand 10500
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Prof. Amanda Caroline Howe, MA, MEd, MD, FRCGP, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Earlham Road, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; and President Elect, WONCA – Bangkok, Thailand 10500, E-mail: amanda.howe@ 123456uea.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2016 Family Medicine and Community Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                Self URI (journal page): http://fmch-journal.org/


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