Chapter 3 and 4

I thought these chapters were interesting and showed the difference between Eastern and Western culture. In chapter 3 Lia had a seizure at three months old. Her parents believed that the seizure was caused by her older sister slamming a door which scared Lia’s spirit. In the Hmong culture, seizures are seen as a connection between the spirit world and a beneficial trait. Even though the parent considers the seizure to be a good thing, they still take Lia to the doctor.  At the hospital, there is a considerable misinterpretation, and the doctors end up treated Lis for pneumonia. They eventually get the right diagnosis after multiple trips to the hospital and get instructions on how to treat Lia’s epilepsy. The instructions are in English, so they parent are unable to give proper care to Lia. I thought this chapter showed the importance of having doctors that speak multiple languages on staff to avoid this confusion. When I go to the doctor, it’s effortless to have symptoms diagnosed and receive the proper care and also be able to understand what I have to do to get better. I think that this happening a lot in the US and many doctors know another language especially Spanish because of the large population of Spanish speakers in America. But I think we can do better and have more doctors who speak different languages to properly treat patients. Especially in this community that has such a large population that speaks only one language.

Chapter 4 discussed how hesitant Hmong people are to use Western medicine. I thought this chapter displayed how different the thinking is in Western and Eastern medicine and how when using a different type of medicine people can be fearful and want to refuse that type of treatment. I can relate to this because Aunt is a certified acupuncturist and always offers me treatment, but I always refuse. It’s not because I am scared of needles, but its because I think it’s a weird treatment and it will make my skin have huge holes. I think it’s hard for me to not think that acupuncture is weird because I have grown up with Western medicine and I know it works and that it’s extremely regulated which comforts me. With acupuncture I think because I don’t know about it and it’s regulations so I try to avoid it.

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One thought on “Chapter 3 and 4

  1. I thought it was interesting how you connected the reading to your own personal feelings about your aunt being an acupuncturist. As you mentioned, you are uncomfortable with the idea of acupuncture because you do not know how it is regulated. I have had similar uneasy feelings about other country’s health care systems when studying abroad. While studying abroad in Seville, Spain we were warned that their medical system works differently than ours. Even though Spain is a developed country, I was still weary to use their medical system.

    Working in the pharma industry, I have started to gain an understanding of such FDA regulations regarding drug and technology development. The U.S. has some of the strictest regulations in the world, which provides both benefits but also barriers to medical innovation.

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