A new report put out by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of Schools of Public Health identifies three categories of competencies -- knowledge, skills and attitudes -- that graduates of medical schools and public health programs should have in order to appropriately provide health care, services and policies to an increasingly diverse population.
According to the report -- “Cultural Competence Education for Students in Medicine and Public Health” -- programs should tailor their curricula to specific competencies instead of adopting the entire list. The proposed competencies include:
- Identifying cultural factors that contribute to health and wellness.
- Identifying health disparities that exist at the local, state, regional, national, and global levels.
- Describing and implement the elements of effective communication with patients, families, communities, peers, and colleagues.
- Describing the role of community engagement in health care and wellness.
- Integrating cultural perspectives of patient, family and community in developing treatment/interventions.
- Demonstrating shared decision making.
As a "roadmap for the future," the report also recommends five methods to instill these cultural competencies as well as reduce health disparities and promote enhanced health and wellness:
- Promoting faculty skill in competency-based education.
- Integrating application of the competencies.
- Cultivating an agenda for research and scholarship.
- Employing case studies.
- Identifying strategies for translating curriculum to practice settings.