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Development of a cultural competency curriculum

Offei-Dua V, Morris J, Mohammad A, Jones K, Ross W
J Natl Med Assoc

There has been increased focus on health disparities and how to address them (Baciu et al., 2017; National Institutes of Health, 2021; Williams et al., 2021). Greater integration of social determinants of health (SDoH) education into undergraduate medical education has been identified as one possible intervention (Mangold et al., 2019; Doobay-Persaud et al., 2019; Lewis et al., 2020). The Liaison Committee on Medical Education places this education among its accreditation requirements (Mangold et al., 2019); however, no consensus exists on the most effective programming for training culturally competent physicians. This paper describes the development, implementation, and reception of one such program; a combined two-week Diversity Retreat and Washington University Medical Plunge at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This program exposed students to the historical, social, and cultural context of health disparities in the city and challenged them to recognize their own biases. Survey data showed that the program was well received and increased learners' subjective understandings of SDoH, the background of St. Louis, and patient-centered care. Learners also identified separation of SDoH material from other aspects of the curriculum and limited reinforcement of SDoH as areas for improvement. In 2020, the program was expanded and integrated into the broader curriculum. Here, we present WUMP, an example of one approach to SDoH training for medical students that was grounded in the local political and social context of St. Louis and prepared students to learn, train, and practice within that context.

Offei-Dua V, Morris J, Mohammad A, Jones K, Ross W. Development of a cultural competency curriculum. J Natl Med Assoc. 2022;114(4):363-368. DOI:10.1016/j.jnma.2022.02.012. PMID: 35931427

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Health Care Professionals
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