An emphasis on the importance of diversity and cultural competency begins prior to matriculation with our OCED Book Program. The OCED Book Program began in 2000 as a means of demonstrating to newly admitted students our commitment to diversity, cultural competency and fostering an educational environment that would create well-trained and culturally competent physicians. The books are sent to students upon admission to the school and are selected because they address culture, including the culture of medicine as practiced in America, and how culture impact our patients’ health outcomes and the health experiences.
Components of diversity and cultural competency education are interwoven throughout the entire required preclinical curriculum and are covered as subject matter in required clerkships. In the fourth year, students address cultural competency in service learning projects during the required Health of the Public rotation. Numerous opportunities for immersion experiences in community based health settings and in other countries exist for the students. Students make presentations to the entire campus on their service learning and immersion experiences, specifically addressing what they learned about another culture and how that impacts one or more aspects of health, disease, treatment and healthcare outcomes. Cultural competency is otherwise evaluated by assessment of clinical skills using standardized patients or for medical Spanish, through oral examination.