Through the process of enculturation, individuals learn how to view the world, experience it, and behave in it. All human societies experience illness, and each culture has devised its own ways of dealing with it. Medical systems are integral parts of the sociocultural systems in which they exist. Beliefs and practices related to illness and healing are inextricably linked to other components of the culture, such as social organization, religion, the economic system, and values. With the ever-increasing ethnic diversity-or multicultural character-of our own population and rapid advances in medical technology that constantly confront us with new options, often leading us to reexamine our expectations, goals, values, and definitions, the importance of culture in illness definition and management has become increasingly recognized.