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Medicine is a sociotechnical system wherein culture manifests itself in all its aspects. Culture, however, is often intangible and is frequently neglected in formal healthcare education, research and practice. This sounding board article attempts to generate interest in making culture a serious component of healthcare systems at different levels, including its founding philosophical underpinnings, educational systems, research activities and clinical practice. It is recommended that a framework of culture-oriented medical philosophy, education, research and practice be implemented. Each component of this framework is briefly discussed in relation to healthcare. Culture should be reflected explicitly in healthcare through research activities, medical humanities, cultural competence, communication and ethics.
Keywords: Medicine; Medical Education; Medical Philosophy; Biomedical Research; Communication; Bioethics; Culture; Policy Making.
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