This book examines a range of current health care issues affecting Asian Americans and explores ways to improve the quality of their health care. The author covers a variety of topics, including sociocultural approaches to health, illness, and health care; clients' experiences in accessing health care services; the important role of alternative practices in primary health care; and limitations on the professional development and practice of Asian health care providers. The book concludes with a look at challenges, implications, and research directions for Asian American health care improvements in the 21st century. Health and illness always have multiple cultural and social dimensions that affect medical practices. Because we face rapidly evolving health care choices, it is important to understand the influence of sociocultural factors on health, illness, and health care. The author emphasizes the cultural and socioecomic factors that are shaping health-seeking behaviors of Asian Americans and the interrelationships among health service providers within the Asian American community. The book criticizes U.S. health care policy for discouraging the immigration of foreign medical-school graduates and limiting the number of language-competent physicians who have dual training in Western and traditional healing techniques. The book provides insights into the important role of traditional medicine in primary health care and also offers a critical analysis of managed care and its implications for Asian American health care in the 21st century.
GRACE XUEQIN MA is Assistant Professor of Public Community Health in the Department of Health Studies at Temple University, Philadelphia. She has published numerous books, journal articles, and book chapters, including the forthcoming book, Rethinking Ethnicity and Health Care: A Sociocultural Perspective. Dr. Ma has directed and codirected numerous health research projects funded by federal agencies and served on a number of national and regional ethnic health advisory committees.