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Cultural competency, health care
Cultural competency allows health care providers to understand and appreciate Canada’s cultural diversity. As a future medical doctor, I will be required to be proficient in meeting a patient’s needs within and across cultures. It is important to be familiar with different cultural backgrounds and understand the differing beliefs of patients. Importantly, cultural competency can increase a patient’s access to services, improve treatment adherence and positive treatment outcomes, and lead to greater patient satisfaction. While information about specific cultures can help in understanding a patient, one should be careful not to stereotype. To provide the best possible care, it will be important to consider the patient and his or her family’s unique situation, while keeping in mind the need to determine the extent to which a patient follows traditional health beliefs.