Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Interprofessional international service projects provide the opportunity for health professional students to explore cultural and interprofessional differences while working collaboratively in a community setting outside of ones’ familiar environment. Discussion of this topic highlights the importance of cultural competency on multiple levels. In addition to understanding differences related to health service delivery systems and health beliefs in an alternative culture, recognizing the diversity of values among professions with different expertise can create a more client-centered approach to care and effective rapport building among colleagues. Student performance of interprofessional service-learning in Nicaragua and review of the literature on cultural differences provide the opportunity to explore dissimilarities in professional values among American interprofessional health teams and the local beliefs and expectations of the Nicaraguan health care system. The purpose of this article is to enhance professionals’ understanding of cultural considerations of health care delivery systems and to offer insights and suggestions to navigate cultural differences among health professions with the aim of providing culturally sensitive team-oriented and client-centered care in alternative environments.