The need for a cultural formulation in the healthcare setting is demonstrated. A process is delineated for assessing the ethnically-diverse patient. A sensitive assessment provides recognition of how the patient's cultural roots affect their healing process. Cooperation and compliance to the advice given by healthcare professionals may be enhanced by understanding the patient's cultural perceptions. Case examples are given from Navajo, Laotian, and Cambodian cultures. The assessment and cultural formulation process can assist the social worker in their interventions with the patient and their recommendations to the other members of the treatment team.