John Scaringe, DC, EdD

Tolerance vs awareness in healthcare


Dr. John Scaringe encourages that instead of “tolerating” different views in healthcare that we embrace each other and appreciate and understand different ways of healing.

The Interview:

Integrated healthcare and with what I’m trying to do at the institution is to have this interprofessional education. We have a core curriculum where all these professions are sitting in all these classes together. You want to emerge them in a team environment early, so that the students are learning from, with, and about each other. But you also want to be deliberate in making sure that they feel strong about their identity.

One of the things in a diversity model is awareness. That’s the first thing. Once people become aware, you educate them, you throw things out in simple forms, you try to get in front of them in all different medias and different ways. You can start moving towards tolerance. I think a lot of the healthcare system right now is just tolerance. You go to different healthcare practitioners and the patients will say, “Well what do you think about acupuncture?” The clinician may often times say, “Well why don’t you go ahead and try? I don’t think it can hurt.” That’s tolerance.

I don’t understand acupuncture and eastern medicine. I’m tolerating it, go ahead. What I think we need to really do in the educational process moving towards these collaborative practices is moving beyond tolerance and into understanding and appreciating. And that’s just a diversity model. We need to take that model into the integrated healthcare education movement and develop practitioners that are going to be more than tolerant. They are going to be understanding and appreciating the others.

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