June 2009

Commentary Building on Cultural Diversity

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to our sixth issue of Primary Care Connections. In every issue, we try to highlight important topics and clinical updates affecting primary care today, including issues such as cultural awareness in patient care.

When I joined the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992, I was the only Asian American doctor in the general medicine clinic. Since then, we have recruited many Asian American practitioners and support staff, and our clinic has amassed a large population of Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese speaking patients. UCSF has become one of the leading community resources available to San Francisco's Asian community. Our Asian Heart and Vascular Center is the only center of its kind in the United States. In addition, our International Services assists patients from throughout the world and coordinates their specialty care.

As primary care physicians, it's important that we not only keep abreast of the latest developments and advances in medicine, but also be aware of the cultural concerns affecting different ethnic populations and the community resources available that may help optimize their health care. These are topics we address in our medical school and continuing medical education programs and in past issues of Primary Care Connections.

In this issue, we discuss the latest treatments — some of which are available only in the Bay Area at UCSF — for conditions such as back pain, carotid artery disease and scoliosis in older patients.

We look forward to bringing you more relevant topics in upcoming issues.

Thank you for your interest.

Don C. Ng, M.D.
Associate Director of the General Medicine Clinic
Division of General Internal Medicine
UCSF Medical Center