Amish; Mennonite; cultural competency; medical experience stories; caregivers; plain authors; plain populations; healthcare professionals


Plain populations (Amish and some Mennonites) write nonfiction accounts of their medical experiences as a means of networking and sharing knowledge about medical conditions and care. These stories serve as a means of creating space to normalize the condition. These accounts are written in the form of medical dramas, “bedside diaries” (such as autobiographies and caregivers’ journals), and reference books. In this article, I propose that healthcare providers read bedside diaries and medical experience stories to learn how plain people process their medical experiences, utilize community support systems, and create meaning based on their faith and beliefs. A select bibliography is included; hospital and community libraries should consider adding these titles, while healthcare professionals would benefit by gleaning first-hand knowledge of plain Anabaptist cultures.