How should ethnic diversity be represented in medical curricula? A plea for systematic training in cultural competence

Informatie
Auteurs
Ir C. Seeleman
M.L. Essink MD PhD
Michael Knipper MD PhD
Soort article
Undergraduate Medical Education
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Ethnic diversity has become a common reality in European societies, including those of Germany and the Netherlands. Given that ethnic minority groups and immigrants are known to be especially vulnerable to inequalities in health, access to services and quality of care, the need for cultural competency training in medical education is widely acknowledged. This paper presents four key issues in providing medical students and physicians with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to adapt medical care to ethnically diverse populations. It then describes two educational programmes delivered by the University of Amsterdam (UvA Academic Medical Centre, the Netherlands) and Giessen University Medical School (Germany), respectively, to illustrate that translating theoretical educational objectives into educational practice can lead to different teaching programmes depending on specific local conditions. In the conclusions, emphasis is placed on the need for systematic approaches that do not limit their focus to patients and groups of specific ethnic or migration backgrounds. Issues of culture, communication and research in relation to ethnically diverse populations are magnifications of general problems in medicine and healthcare. Explicit attention to ethnic diversity thus offers a view through a ‘magnifying glass’ of subjects of much broader importance and can be a means for improving health care in general. (Knipper M, Seeleman C, Essink-Bot M-L. How should ethnic diversity be represented in medical curricula? A plea for systematic training in cultural competence. Netherlands Journal of Medical Education 2010;29(1):54–60)

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