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Article |

Immigrant Attitudes Toward the Physician

Robert Anderson, MD, PhD
JAMA. 1990;264(10):1252. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450100042021.
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To the Editor.—  My research as a physician-anthropologist confirms the conclusion of Dr Kraut1 that many immigrants seek care from practitioners of ethnomedicine. Equally striking, however, is our finding that many mainstream Americans also bring their illnesses to these healers. As an example, which cannot be assumed to represent other centers or other forms of ethnomedicine, we found that only 9% of new patients in a clinic for traditional Chinese medicine in San Francisco, Calif, reported on a questionnaire (N = 200) that they were Asian. The overwhelming majority (76%) considered themselves to be white. Physicians need to be aware that any of their patients may be involved with shamans, herbalists, or other providers of ethnomedicine.Based on my work with patients with back pain, I would conclude that every physician needs to make the following three determinations. First, as a finding consistent with Dr Kraut's observations but not directly


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