Cultural Competency Overview
- In the Curriculum
- Medical Spanish
- Multicultural Information Resource Center Library (MIRC)
- ODI Book Program
Defining Cultural Competency
Cultural competency is part of the "art" of medicine, characterized by awareness, sensitivity, respect and understanding of the human differences (i.e. cultures and world views) that patients seeking healthcare may possess.
Cultural competency requires the physician to be aware and knowledgeable about the following facts or issues:
- Illness and disease vary across cultures.
- Beliefs systems and attitudes about health, healing and disease are diverse.
- Cultural attitudes affect patient-doctor relationships.
- All aspects of culture are not uniformly expressed or shared within or across groups.
- Optimal patient care requires that the patient-doctor relationship is a trusting one that defies interpersonal or intercultural differences.
Informative and knowledgeable reference pieces to guide our understanding of the nature and etiology of disparities, especially as it relates to cultural competency.
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Healthcare: A Chartbook
- Race, Ethnicity & Health Care by Kaiser Family Foundation
- Defining Cultural Competence: A Practical Framework for Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care
- Cultural Competence and Health Care Disparities: Key Perspectives and Trends by Joseph R. Betancourt, Alexander R. Green, J. Emilio Carrillo, and Elyse R. Park