University of Toronto
Class of 2016
Gulliver’s Travels, a familiar story from many of our childhoods, lends itself to highlight the significance of cultural psychiatry. Do we – as the tiny people of Lilliput were so quick to bind the shipwrecked Gulliver – similarly evaluate the patient in front of us with a reflexive comfort of our own sociocultural experiences? In view of such juxtaposition of a superficial conformity and a naked vulnerability, a culturally sensitive approach to psychiatry allows for the often desperate opportunity in which hidden assumptions and practice limitations can be made aware. Or, the irony of how easily the reference of this Anglo-Irish tale can be lost.