Culture & End of Life Care: Collaborating with Interdisciplinary Partners

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing this activity, the participant will be better able to:

  • Analyze advantages for using a skilled interpreter with limited English proficiency (LEP) patients or patients who don't speak English at all.
  • Learn how and why to conduct a pre-session with an interpreter.
  • Identify strategies for successful communication when working with an interpreter.
  • Elicit the patient's perspective when a family member tries to speak for her.
  • Encourage the patient to learn what Western medicine offers, so she can make an informed decision.
  • Negotiate a treatment plan, offering your recommendations while respecting the patient's perspective.
  • Collaborate with a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provider to meet the patient's treatment goals.
  • Build a lasting relationship with the patient.
  • Observe that members of the same family and culture may hold different spiritual values.
  • Identify several options for resolving conflicting values.
  • Analyze the results when spiritual needs are addressed in planning end-of-life care.
  • Analyze how different approaches to ethical decision making might lead to conflict between a physician and a nurse.
  • Identify possible pitfalls in handling interdisciplinary conflict.
  • Assess strategies for addressing interdisciplinary conflicts effectively.

Additional Information

Virtual Lecture Hall
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ABMS MOC II
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

About the Authors

Eileen Van Schaik, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Talaria, Inc.
Clinical Assistant Faculty
Biobehavioral Nursing & Health Systems, University of Washington School of Nursing

Following an earlier career as a registered nurse, Dr. Van Schaik taught anthropology and conducted ethnographic evaluation research as a visiting lecturer and research assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for six years. She joined Talaria in 2002, and is the principal investigator for five completed and three ongoing SBIR grants. Dr. Van Schaik enjoys translating her nursing experience and expertise in anthropology into multimedia resources for healthcare providers, patients, and families. Currently, Dr. Van Schaik is also a clinical assistant professor in Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems at the University of Washington.

Cynthia E. Roat, MPH

Cynthia Roat is a consultant and trainer on issues related to language access in health care. She is the principle author of Bridging the Gap, currently the most widely offered training program for medical interpreters in the United States. She is a founding member of the Society of Medical Interpreters (SOMI) in Seattle, is Chair of the Advisory Committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), and is a national advocate for the field of health care interpreting and for language access in general. Ms. Roat has been an interpreter trainer for over twenty years, and is certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for both medical and social service interpreting. She holds a Masters degree in International Public Health from the University of Washington.


Additional Contributors

Amy Baernstein, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine / General Internal Medicine
University of Washington

Laurie Fronek

Diane Timberlake, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Family Medicine
Harborview Medical Center


Disclosure: The author and contributors state that they do not have any financial arrangements that could constitute a conflict of interest.

ACCME/AMA PRA Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson and Talaria, Inc.. The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM

1.50 Part II MOC points are available for these specialty board(s) (Optional):

American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Credit Type: Medical Knowledge
  • Practice Areas: Hospice and Palliative Medicine


MOC Recognition Statement(s)

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.50 Medical Knowledge Part II MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

If you elect to receive MOC credit for this course, you give permission for to share your information and activity completion data with the ACCME and the specialty board(s) chosen through the ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS).

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ABMS MOC II
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit


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This course is offered through The Virtual Lecture Hall. 

To take this course you will be redirected to The Virtual Lecture Hall's website. You must login or create an account with The Virtual Lecture Hall in order to complete this activity. 

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