Language has a critical role as a social determinant of health and a source of healthcare disparities. Rhetorical devices are ubiquitous in medicine and are often used to persuade or inform care team members. Rhetorical devices help a healthcare team acknowledge and interpret narratives. For example, metaphors are frequently used as rhetorical devices by patients to describe cancer, including winning or losing a battle, surviving a fight, war, potentially implying that the patient feels helpless like a pawn fighting in a struggle directed by the physician, thus reducing patient autonomy and agency. However, this occidental approach is flawed because it excessively focuses on the individual's agency and marginalizes external factors, such as cultural beliefs and social support (Sontag, 1989). Although there is a large body of research about how the rhetoric of medicine affects patients in the United States, there is a lack of such research about how patient experiences' rhetoric can help increase the understanding of Latino populations' unique social determinants. This creative project aims to analyze the rhetorical differences in the description of disease amongst Latino and American communities, translating to creating an educational module for a Spanish for biomedical sciences class. The objective is to increase future healthcare professionals' ability to understand how the composition of descriptions and medical rhetoric in different mediums of humanities can serve as critical tools to analyze social determinants in Latino healthcare delivery.
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