Vesalius ManWorkshop

The Bodies of Others:

Compassionate Cross-Cultural Healthcare

Sara K. Schneider

"A wonderful session with a dynamic presenter. There was a lot of interaction, introspection and humor."

Healthcare professionals now serve a diverse array of patients whose relationships to touch, authority, pain, and embodiment itself are strongly influenced by their cultures of origin. This workshop combines lecture, discussion, small-group work, journaling, and debriefing to help healthcare professionals understand and work effectively with the lived experience of their culturally diverse patients and their families.


The workshop takes illness and disability not as simply objective facts, but as personal and cultural experiences. Using their own body-based and social intelligences, participants learn qualities of presence, non-verbal communication skills, and techniques of cultural inquiry that will allow them to make subtle, yet effective connections with their patients. As a result of the workshop, they will empathize more fully and more palpably with members of their culturally varied constituencies, especially those facing serious illness in themselves or a family member. Actively exploring the culturally determined lives of bodies, they will cultivate their sensitivity to the increasingly diverse needs and expectations of patients and families in the multicultural physical dramas of examination, consultation, and treatment rooms. Finally, applying specific tools for working with the embodied spiritual lives of those of faith traditions other than their own, they will better enable their patients to feel cared for, to understand the medical implications of their conditions, and to partner with their providers to make sound healthcare decisions.


This workshop is appropriate for all levels and is ideally presented in a full-day format; alternative formats are also possible.

To discuss your organization's needs, contact Sara at or 312.593.2345.

All materials © Sara K. Schneider 2012