Assessing Cultural Representations of Physician and Patient Imagery in Medical Tourism Websites

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Given recent international trends in globalized healthcare systems, an analysis of the cultural representations of patient and physician imagery was conducted on 66 medical tourism websites. Expectancy violations theory serves as the intercultural theoretical framework for exploring the medical tourism process overall, and quality of care expectations specifically. Results revealed the type of website and international region of care varied both representations of care toward patients and the depictions of physicians as well as their associated environmental surroundings. The data reveals a cause for concern resulting from the distortion and diminishment regarding the ethnicity of physicians who offer services in overseas medical facilities. Future directions are offered to explore the consequences of these images among organizations advancing medical tourism services.