An assessment of cultural competence of first- and second-year medical students at a historically diverse medical school.Edit

Ladson GM, Lin JM, Flores A, Magrane D.

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Nov;195(5):1457-62.

A group from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Internal Medicine compiled an assessment of cultural competence at Meharry Medical College. They had 95 first and second year medical students complete 2 questionnaires – the Clinical Cultural Competency Questionnaire (CCCQ) and the Hispanic Health Knowledge Questionnaire (HHKQ). The CCCQ assessed knowledge, skills, encounters/situations, attitudes, and education and training/impact. The HHKQ measured common Hispanic health beliefs and behaviors. Data revealed that cultural sensitivity was greater in older students, female students, and M2s, however, none of the data points were above the midpoint, implying poor cultural competency throughout. There were several limitations to this study – not only was the sample size small, but they only included first and second year medical students who have little exposure to clinical settings compared to third and fourth year medical students. Much of cultural competency training occurs in the clinical setting. Also, the sample itself was not diverse, consisting of 74% African-American students. This research does imply that a more homogenous group is more likely to express out-group prejudice indicating that a more homogenous group would benefit from cultural competency training. Being a minority is not advantageous in cultural competency and does not predispose one to more cultural sensitivity.

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