Friday Feature: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997) by Anne Fadiman

SpiritCatchesYAYFDThe Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures tells the story of a Hmong refugee family and the cultural differences that complicate their interactions with the US medical community.

This book is a classic that many of you may already know about.  It has been cited as an argument for greater cultural competence in the medical field.  Since it was written, community interpreting standards have become increasingly responsive to the needs of immigrant patients, in part as a result of the human, cultural and medical issues outlined in this book.

What resonated for me when I first read this is best captured in a quote from the book:  “Our view of reality is only a view, not reality itself.”

(Every Friday we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

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