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The ETHNIC(S) Mnemonic: A Clinical Tool for Ethnogeriatric Education


Address correspondence to Fred A. Kobylarz MD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, One Robert Wood Johnson Place, P.O. Box 19, New Brunswick, NJ 08903. E-mail:


Geriatrics healthcare providers need to be aware of the effect that culture has on establishing treatment priorities, influencing adherence, and addressing end-of-life care issues for older patients and their caregivers. The mnemonic ETHNIC(S) (Explanation, Treatment, Healers, Negotiate, Intervention, Collaborate, Spirituality/Seniors) presented in this article provides a framework that practitioners can use in providing culturally appropriate geriatric care. ETHNIC(S) can serve as a clinically applicable tool for eliciting and negotiating cultural issues during healthcare encounters and as a new instructional strategy to be incorporated into ethnogeriatric curricula for all healthcare disciplines.