Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Eric Vangsnes

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Linn


An understanding and appreciation for the varied health systems in use throughout the world is increasingly vital for medical personnel, as the patient population now composes not only an ethnically diverse people, but a population of exceedingly wide-ranging health belief systems. Hence, the study aims at creating a preliminary understanding of health system trends of various diverse cultures. The pilot study of 459 individuals from 11 different countries around the world was taken by thirty-three students in the upper division course, People, Pathology, and World Medicine from Semester at Sea, Fall 2007, and delivered in open-ended surveys by interview. Whereas, hospitals ranked highly for all countries, ethnomedical therapies showed a lesser degree of cross cultural application with China using the greatest overall percentage of ethnomedical therapies. The figures and trends from the surveys suggest the importance of understanding diverse cultural health beliefs when treating individuals of ethnic backgrounds. The study, also, showcases the increasingly complex and multi-system based medical treatments being used internationally.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only