A genogram is a picture of relationships. Generally, they are used to demonstrate patterns, tendencies and relationship dynamics. A cultural genogram traces beliefs, values, and attitudes across and between different groups. They are utilized in health care and psychology, among other fields.
Health care providers often use genograms to record family information and include it in a patient’s medical records. Genograms are created by interviewing the person, recording health-related issues, relationships, and roles. A cultural genogram, in the medical setting, adds questions such as the country of origin of various family members, gender roles within households, and resources used outside of traditional health care systems. Such information is recorded using symbols to represent various aspect of culture.
Cultural genograms are proving to be valuable tools in medical education. Minorities often are subject to disparities in health care. By having students learn how to create a cultural genogram, as well as how to understand the information presented in one, cultural competency is increased. One of the first, and best steps, towards creating cultural competency, especially in the medical field, is through the active creation of a cultural genogram. By asking core questions is a nonjudgmental format, medical providers can learn more about their patients as well as their cultures.