Resident Review  |   February 2015
Cultural Challenges in Medicine: Epidural Anesthesia in the Latina Population
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Education / CPD / Regional Anesthesia / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   February 2015
Cultural Challenges in Medicine: Epidural Anesthesia in the Latina Population
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 72.
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 72.
Most people receive a warm response when they share their career choices with their family, but for me it was just the opposite. I remember vividly, explaining my decision to pursue obstetrical anesthesia to my grandmother. “No mi hijo, vas a dañarles la espalda a las madres,” which roughly translates to: “Don’t do it, you will injure mothers’ backs.”
Unfortunately, my grandmother’s perspective is not unique among Latin American women in the United States. For years, myths and misconceptions about epidural and spinal anesthesia have been passed from generation to generation among the Latino community. I did not see the harm this can bring until I rotated through obstetrical anesthesia, and I noticed Spanish-speaking Latina females refusing epidurals at a much higher rate than Caucasian or African-American women. As the Hispanic population is now the largest minority group in the United States, this is an issue that physician anesthesiologists across the country will have to face.
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