Professional Development Articles


Latino Culture: Personal Interactions
April 16th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1380 Comparison of Cultural Values Anglo Culture: The main tenants that regulate personal interactions in the USA are informality, equality, and boundaries. Latino culture: On the other hand, the main parameters that regulate personal interactions in Latino culture are formality, deference, and connection. Formality vs. Informality US doctors are likely to address patients by their first name and be informal. Senior patients are addressed in a simil... [read more]

Latino Culture: Communication Style
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1570 Dominant Culture: The most highly valued communication style in the USA is assertive and direct communication: If the patient needs something they need to speak up and request it. When patients state their opinions and preferences this is expected and welcomed. Replies are given as clear and unequivocal "yes" and "no"s. What you say is more important that how you say it. Latino culture: Passive communication is the most effective style, so the patient will not openly challenge the doc... [read more]

Latino Culture: Decision Making
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1571 Dominant Culture: The patient is a free moral agent and is the executor of all decisions. The patient is in control. The provider will explain risk and benefits and the patient will pull the trigger on whether to proceed or not. The patient keeps their family updated, but ultimately all decisions rest in the patient's hands. Latino culture: The doctor's "opinion" is seen more as a medical imperative/directive and carries a lot of weight. The thinking is that the doctor kno... [read more]

Latino Culture: Self Identification
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1574 Article under development... [read more]

Latino Culture: Health Literacy
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1572 MEDICAL LITERACY AND JARGON Dominant Culture: The US has compulsory primary and secondary education for its citizens and has a 99% literacy rate. The use of medical terms is pervasive in the news and public health educational campaigns. Some technical medical terms have become mainstream. Latino culture: The Latino community that immigrates is not a cross-section of society. Educated and wealthy individuals and those with stable socio-economic conditions have no incent... [read more]

Latino Culture: Religion and philosophy
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1573 Comparison of Cultural Values Anglo Culture: Axiomatic beliefs are based on the philosophies of free will, and objective materialism (i.e. scientific methodology). Latino culture: Beliefs are based on the philosophy of fatalism/determinism and the religion of Christianity. Free will vs. Fatalism/Determinism In the States we consider each person to be a free moral agent that can take personal decisions that are consequential. We do not ... [read more]

Latino Culture: Notions of Time
April 15th, 2019 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1380 Comparison of Cultural Values Anglo Culture: The main values related to time in the USA are efficiency, precision, and protection. Latino culture: The main values related to time in the Latino culture are enjoyment, flexibility, and improvisation. Efficiency vs. Enjoyment In Anglo culture time is something to be conquered, managed, and used to its maximum efficiency. The Protestant work ethic epitomized by "idle hands are the Devil's workshop"... [read more]

Latino culture and healthcare
October 23rd, 2013 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1380 If you work for a large medical institution in the United States, you will eventually be introduced to the notions of "culture" and "cultural differences" and there will be an expectation that you will become aware of these concepts and be sensitive to them. Yet I have found that most trainings in this area are overly generic and lack specific examples. So you end up listening to the Human Resources' cultural sensitivity presentation, but when you get back on the job, for the ... [read more]

How I get things done
August 1st, 2009 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1195 Effective people have built in systems and strategies to get things done, and the advice below will in fact help you to do more. Keep in mind however, that this article does not address what you should be doing to experience your best life possible (i.e. purpose in life, top values, priorities), just 'how' to get things done. Soften the target During military campaigns one of the things the artillery does before an attack is to carpet bomb the opponent's fortificati... [read more]

Multiculturalism and Identity
May 1st, 2008 by Daniel Catalaa

Image file_id 1198 Note: This commencement speech was given by Daniel Catalaa in May of 2008 during the City College of San Francisco Health Care Intepreter Certification Program Graduation. Personal Introduction Dear students, faculty, families, and support people, I feel very fortunate to be with you today and to have been given the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of my classmates and this graduation. I would like share with you the personal experiences that transform a pe... [read more]