Discuss Diagnosis and Natural History

Genetic Counseling Somali Refugees

"If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will
learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear. " — Gene Roddenberry

 “We have become not a melting pot, but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” Jimmy Carter

 “Strangers in a new culture see only what they know.” Unknown

Thanks to Lauren Grote, University of Dayton undergraduate student in the SURF Program (Summer Undergraduate Research
Fellowship), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for her work as a contributing author for this case.

Commentary by Marie Runyon, MS, Genetic Counselor, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this case, genetic counselors will be able to:

  1. Summarize the challenges faced by refugees prior to and after arriving in the U.S.
  2. List the characteristics of health care provision that convey respect for Somali culture
  3. When discussing diagnosis and natural history, apply the mnemonic device, ETHNIC, to understand how culture may affect a patient’s treatment.



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