OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Cultural and Structural Barriers that Affect the Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Bolivian perspective

TitleCultural and Structural Barriers that Affect the Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Bolivian perspective
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFowler, Jessica D.
Academic DepartmentBiology, College of Science
Thesis AdvisorKhanna, Dr. Sunil
DegreeHonors Baccalaureate of Arts in International Studies in Biology
Number of Pages50
Date Published06/2009
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsbarriers, biology, Bolivia, doctor-patient relationship, health care
Abstract

The doctor-patient relationship is one of the most unique and privileged relations a person can have with another human being, and having access to a well developed and effective association is important for the experienced and objective quality of health care. Yet, over the past few decades a number of cultural barriers and structural trends have converged, reducing the ability of patients to have this archetypal relationship with physicians.
This thesis intends to explore the barriers that affect this professional relationship in Bolivia and provide possible solutions. The cultural barriers I have selected to focus on are: racial concordance of the doctor and patient, language barriers and medical beliefs. The structural barriers that seem to have the most impact are: the decline of primary care physicians, access to healthcare services and the organization of the medical practice. After completing a pediatric health medical internship in Bolivia, which inspired this thesis topic, I have grown as a student, a future culturally sensitive healthcare professional, and as a person. I hope that it can also serve to inform others of the real challenges faced in Bolivian and worldwide health care today.