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WikiWorldHealth is an innovative approach to teaching cultural awareness in the medical school setting. By opening a democratic forum for student discussion of cultural awareness issues it will defuse some of the student criticism and resistance to the introduction of the cultural awareness curriculum content into the core traditional medical school curriculum of normal and abnormal physiology. In addition students can contribute and create larger content areas of the website during elective time if desired.
There is an initiative in medical school education to integrate cultural competence into curricula. The AAMC, Association of American Medical Colleges, developed the Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (TACCT) to assist with curriculum content development. This project would address the following TACCT objectives:
At the end of medical school, students will:
S1. Discuss race, ethnicity, and culture in the context of the medical interview and health care
A1. Describe their cultural background and biases
A3. Value the importance of diversity in health care and address the challenges and opportunities it poses.
K2. Recognize patients’/families’ healing traditions and beliefs, including ethno-medical beliefs.
K3. Describe common challenges in cross-cultural communication.
S4. Engage in reflection about their own cultural beliefs and practices.”
Lia Lee was a three-month-old Hmong child with epilepsy. Her doctors prescribed a complex regimen of medication designed to control her seizures. However, her parents felt that the epilepsy was a result of Lia "losing her soul" and did not give her medication as indicated because of the complexity of the drug therapy and the adverse side effects. Instead, they did everything logical in terms of their Hmong beliefs to help her. They took her to a clan leader and shaman, sacrificed animals and bought expensive amulets to guide her soul's return...(Read more...)
Racial and ethnic minorities comprise 26% of the total population of the United States, yet only roughly 6% of practicing physicians are Latino, African American and Native American.*
Under-represented minority (URM) faculty account for only about 4% of U.S. medical school faculty members, and approximately 20% of URM faculty is located at six schools-Howard University, Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the three Puerto Rican medical schools.*
Black physicians were found to practice in areas where the proportion of Black residents was nearly five times as high as where other physicians practice. Likewise, Hispanic physicians worked in communities with twice the proportion of Hispanic residents when compared to their non-Hispanic colleagues.*