role of traditional medicine and ceremonies in Hmong culture. What could have been done to bridge the divide?
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Fadiman advocates for doctors to consider their patients' stories about their disease and to try to use a model of cooperation rather than coercion. For example, Foua explained to Fadiman that she felt it was important to use both western medicine and neeb, or shamanic ritual. The Hmong believe that sometimes people get sick due to something that happens to their soul, or because they encounter an evil spirit called a dab. Such illnesses require spiritual healing, which can be rendered less effective by medication. Foua felt that the doctors wouldn't let them give just a little medication because they didn't understand about the soul. Had they done so, they might have been able to engage in cultural compromise, inviting a tvix neeb to work alongside the doctors who might have been able to convince the family that the amount of medication prescribed was beneficial. Lia's former hospital has since successfully adopted similar practices.