ANU Medical School Public Seminar: PhD Exit Seminar

This PhD exit seminar showcases the research of 2 PhD candidates as follows.


Nami Matsumoto: “Who is it for? An exploration of patient experiences of interpreter-mediated Japanese-English medical encounters”

This study explores patient experiences of Japanese-English cross-linguistic medical encounters, and their views of receiving language support. The study was undertaken against a background of low uptake of professional interpreters in Australian health care, and the frequent use of the patient’s family member as a communication mediator. Nami investigated the reasons for this by comparing the accounts of Japanese-speaking patients and English-speaking patients in the mirrored fields of Australian health care and Japanese health care contexts.  Study findings suggest that an interpreter should not be detached from the context, and should be more engaged in the needs of patients. Simply following a code of ethics does not necessarily lead to effective patient-doctor communication. The concept of relationship-centred care needs to be incorporated in the practice of health care interpreters.

Catherine Clutton: “One-size-fits-few: Enabling health policy makers to engage with citizens from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds”

This study explores whether paying greater attention to cultural competence can enhance citizen engagement in health policy development. In multicultural countries like Australia and Canada where governments are committed to inclusive policy development there is a lack of attention to ‘culture’ in health policy making processes. Barriers to better practice include everyday understandings of ‘culture’, the way in which multiculturalism as government policy is perceived, and one-size-fits-all citizen engagement driven largely by resource constraints. Taking the health policy officer’s perspective, Catherine investigated the ways in which culture and multiculturalism impinge on citizen engagement in the health policy making process.

Study findings suggest culture, beyond awareness of Indigenous cultures, is not usually considered in deliberative health policy development. Catherine argues that critical multiculturalism, with a focus on organisational and individual structures, complemented by contextual sensitivity, will address procedures and processes that serve to exclude some citizens from citizen engagement for health policy making.

About the speakers

Nami Matsumoto Nami is a PhD candidate in the ANU Medical School, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & the Environment. Her research is supervised by Associate Professor Christine Phillips. Nami holds a Master’s degree in Social Science (translating and interpreting studies) from RMIT University, Melbourne, and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from International Christian University, Tokyo. Nami is also a practicing interpreter / translator specialising in health care.

Catherine Clutton Catherine is a PhD candidate in the ANU Medical School, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & the Environment. Her research is supervised by Associate Professor Paul Dugdale. Cathy holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health from the University of Queensland, and a Master’s degree in Politics and Policy from Deakin University. Cathy was a long-serving member of the Australian Public Service prior to her retirement in 2012.