686: Emigration, acculturation and intercultural identity; the displaced person as a patient

Conference: 
Author(s): 
L.A. Berec
Loxley Family Medical, Franklin PHC, Mobile, Alabama, United States
Text: 
Presentation type: Oral Communication
In his lecture the author wants to summarize his clinical experience while working with immigrant patients in the USA. The author himself was born and raised in Slovakia. He was educated in the USA where he is currently working as a family physician. In addition to American-born patients, he is also sees lots of immigrants, predominantly from Eastern and Central Europe, and also from Latin America.
In the post-modern world, foreign travel, international studies, foreign trade and employment, political, economical, religious or racial tensions, often resulting in wars and persecutions, bring about lots of immigrants and displaced persons. Their acculturation process in their new country is often a difficult, slow and very individual evolutionary process. However, it is definitely affected by a person’s age, sex, profession, previous social and education level, marital status, and also by the availability of various support systems in their respective community. The reason for immigration also plays a role in the acculturation process. It makes a difference if the immigrant left his home country by or against his own will, e.g., ran away from prosecution or war. In addition, we often see in our offices various marginal individuals who try to run away from their criminal past, alimony, or from their own unresolved internal conflicts and who often have problems with their acculturation process.
In conclusion, the author feels that the successful acculturation is a mutually enriching process, benefiting not only the individual himself but also his host country.

Disclosure: No conflict of interest declared