By Dr. Ahmed Abdelmageed
Q: Why do you create this training and why do you think it’s important?
A: I created this training because a lot of times a simple awareness of religious beliefs / cultural practices can make a big difference in a patient’s care. Healthcare providers care for patients from all walks of life, including many Muslims, and a basic understanding of Islam would help make a patient’s visit a little more comfortable.
Q: Have healthcare professionals been open to your advice on how to work with the Muslim community?
A: Yes, the response and demand for this lecture has actually been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. I get many notes of appreciation for shedding light on a topic that doesn’t get a lot of exposure.
Q: How do you recommend we go about creating similar training in our healthcare settings?
A: The training is basically a simple introduction to the tenets of faith and how those play a role in the life of an average Muslim. I think anyone with a good foundational understanding of Islam and an ability to present material in an interesting manner can do the same thing. Keep it simple and focus on the basics; you’ll be surprised by how much people don’t know about Islam and how much they appreciate the similarities that exist within the Abrahamic faiths.
Q: What would be your biggest piece of advice for a healthcare professional working with a Muslim patient?
A: My biggest piece of advice for a healthcare professional, whether working with a Muslim patient or not, is to leave your baggage at the door. Practice the “care” in healthcare by practicing cultural humility. You are there to care for your patient and you can best do that by appreciating the role their culture/faith plays in their life.