The encyclopedia to better understand our patients of foreign origin
Dear colleagues, you are welcoming a patient of French origin.
Here is a list of useful information to know in the context of his medical care.
67 million inhabitants / Median salary: 1 789 € per month
Literacy rate: 99% / Life expectancy: 82.5 years
Spoken language: French
● Historically and culturally, France is known as a revolutionary and protesting people.
● As a result of this culture, the French love to debate on all subjects and question established facts.
● France is the country with the highest level of distrust of vaccines in the world, ahead of Gabon and Togo.
● French law prohibits the compilation of ethnic and religious statistics of its population.
● Beware, French people tend to give their last name before their first name.
● Between relatives, it is customary to greet each other with a kiss (two, three or four depending on the region), or to shake hands.
● In France, the hierarchical distance related to social status is relatively high, which can lead to a strong imbalance in communication with the doctor.
● It is important to know the distinction between the pronouns “Tu” and “Vous“: the vouvoiement is used in a formal setting, to address a stranger, an elderly person or a superior. The tutoiement is used between relatives and friends.
Beliefs, Practices & Rituals
● France is a secular country retaining strong Christian roots.
● The Muslim community represents the 2nd largest religious community in France, estimated at between 7 and 10% of the population.
● In France, the time spent eating is the longest in the world (2h11 per day – 1h31 on average in OECD countries – 1h01 in the United States).
● Bread consumption is quite high as it is present at almost every meal.
● French cuisine is particularly fatty because butter is used a lot.
● The French eat an average of 27.2 kg of cheese per person per year, the 4th largest consumers in the world.
● In France, 17% of the adult population would be obese and 1 child out of 5 overweight.
Pregnancy and motherhood
● In France, vaccination of children is mandatory to be admitted to daycare and school or any other children’s community.
● The number of mandatory vaccines in France increased from 3 to 11 in 2018, following the observation of the decline in vaccination coverage in the country.
● Voluntary surgical termination of pregnancy can be performed until the end of the 12th week.
● Medicated elective termination of pregnancy may be performed until the end of the 5th week of pregnancy.
This section is not yet populated. Please feel free to offer your contribution, respecting the principle of neutrality and citing your sources if applicable. Thank you!
Examples of Cases Encountered
This section allows us to share real-life experiences. Do not hesitate to share yours with the community.
On December 22, 2017, the Conseil d’Etat confirmed the disbarment of a general practitioner for having included in the health record of a child a vaccination that, in fact, had not been performed. this falsification was originally a request from the mother because of her religious beliefs
● France24.com: The demonstration, in the DNA of the French
● les Echos.fr: Vaccines: the French are the most skeptical in the world
● Francetvinfo.fr: The French are world champions of time spent at the table, with more than two hours per jou
● France24.com : No, the French are not the biggest consumers of cheese in the world
● Sciencesetavenir.fr: 11 vaccines are now mandatory for children since January 1, 2018
● Service-public.fr – The voluntary interruption of pregnancy
● lexpress.fr: A doctor disbarred for writing the false vaccination certificate of a child