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Curriculum Development Resources

These articles may inform curriculum development and revision.

Backer J. “Cross-Cultural Medicine: A Decade Later." Western Journal of Medicine, 157:248-374 1992. This introductory article to a special issue on cultural issues of the Western Journal is a broad review of progress in dealing with cultural issues in medicine since the 1983 issue on the same topic. It is a good review of the topic just prior to renewed interest that began in the early to mid-1990s.

Beach M, et al. "Cultural Competence: A Systematic Review of Health Care Provider Educational Interventions." Medical Care, 43 (4):356-373, 2005. The authors synthesize the findings of studies evaluating interventions to improve the cultural competence of health professionals.

Berlin E and Fowkes W. “A Teaching Framework for Cross-Cultural Health Care.” Western Journal of Medicine, 139:934-938, 1983. The authors list new guidelines for practitioners for interviewing the increasing culturally, racially and linguistically diverse populations. The LEARN (Listen, Explain, Acknowledge, Recommend and Negotiate) model improves communication with patients and heightens practitioners awareness of cultural issues.

Betancourt J. R. "Cultural Competence - Marginal or Mainstream Movement?" New England Journal of Medicine, 351(10): 953-954, 2004.

Betancourt J.R., et. al.   "Cultural Competence and Health Care Disparities:  Key Perspectives and Trends." Health Affairs, 24(2):499-505, 2005.  Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., program director at the Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues, present findings from a 2002 survey of experts in cultural competence from managed care, government, and academia. The study compares these findings to recent trends in policy, practice, and education and finds that many stakeholders have been developing cultural competency programs, though their motivations for doing so and approaches taken vary.

The Commonwealth Fund Report: Cultural Competency in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches. New York: Commonwealth Fund, 2002. This report provides background information and recommendations for achieving organizational and clinical cultural competence. To order copies from the Commonwealth Fund, call a toll-free publications line (1-888-777-2744) and ask for publication number 576 or order from the Fund’s Web site.

Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework. Washington, D.C.: The Healthy People Curriculum Task Force, Association of Academic Health Centers and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, 2003. The Curriculum Framework provides a structure for organizing curriculum, monitoring curriculum, and communication within and between disciplines. The Clinical Prevention and Population Health Curriculum Framework is designed to serve as a guideline for student education in the clinical health professions represented on the Health People Curriculum Task Force.

Compendium of Cultural Competence Initiatives In Health Care. Menlo Park: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003. The compendium was prepared in response to the many requests from the media and others to define cultural competency and identify efforts underway in this emerging field. The initiatives included in the compendium are from 1990 to the present and it is divided into two categories: Public Sector Initiatives (Federal/state/local) and Private Sector Initiatives (health care institutions or professional organizations, foundations, academic institutions/policy research organizations, and other).

Cultural Competency. The June 2003 issue of Academic Medicine, Volume 78, No. 6 is a special theme issue on Cultural Competence. The papers range from the theoretical orientation of cultural competency to applying theory to the design of cultural competency training programs for medical students. The issue can be ordered from the Association of American Medical Colleges, Section for Publication Orders, 2450 N Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037-1134. Tel: (202) 828-0416. Fax: (202) 828-1123.

Formicola A, et al. "Population-based primary care and dental education: a new role for dental schools." Journal of Dental Education, 63(4): 331-338, 2001. The authors discuss the lack of access to oral health care for population groups in need of care. They set out the vision for dental education to assume a primary responsibility and describe programs at the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery that are being developed to meet this expanded mission.

Formicola A, Stavisky J, Lewy R. "Cultural Competency: Dentistry and Medicine Learning From One Another." Journal of Dental Education, 67:869-875, 2003. The Institute of Medicine Report “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care” is described and discussed as it relates to dentistry and the education of dental students. It makes recommendations on how dentistry can apply the findings of the IOM report.

Green A, Betancourt J, Carrillo E. "Integrating Social Factors Into Cross-Cultural Medical Education." Academic Medicine, 77:193-197, 2002. Defines four domains of social context and offers questions/interview tools with which to determine their contribution to a patient’s problems.

Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B. "Culture, Illness, and Care: Clinical Lessons From Anthropologic and Cross-Culture Research." Annals of Internal Medicine, 88:251-258, 1978. A frequently quoted seminal article that calls for renewed attention to cultural competency training. The difference between the doctor's diagnosis and the patient's perception of illness is the basis for practitioners to view patients' needs through a complex, humanistic prism.

Like R, Steiner P, Rubel A. "Recommended Core Curriculum Guidelines on cultural Sensitivity and Competent Health Care." Family Medicine, 28:291-297, 1996. Provides examples of the types of attitudes, knowledge and skills practitioners need to provide culturally sensitive care.

Mouradian W, Berg J, Somerman M. "The Role of Cultural Competency in Health Disparities: Training of Primary Care Medical Practitioners in Children's Oral Health." Journal of Dental Education, 67:860-868, 2003. The paper calls for new partnerships between dentistry, medicine, and other health professions to help eliminate health disparities at the academic, community, and policy levels. It also calls for a keener understanding in dental education of the relationship between culture and disease.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities and Cross Cultural Care, a Webcast presented by Joseph Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H. New York: Center for Community Health Partnerships, January 23, 2003. To request a CD of the Webcast, email Kim D'Abreu.

Wotman S, et al. “Reexamining Educational Philosophy: The Issue of Professional Responsibility, ‘Cleveland First.’” Journal of Dental Education, 67:406-411 2003. The authors describe a new educational emphasis on impressing upon students their roles in improving the oral health of a community. First-year students are coached in “making a difference” in the community through a school-based sealant program.

Yoshida T, Milgrom P, Coldwell S. "How Do U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools Teach Interpersonal Communication Skills?" Journal of Dental Education, 66:1281-1287, 2002. Communication skills are important to cultural competency. Only one-third of the U.S. and Canadian dental schools in this study had courses focusing on interpersonal communication, suggesting that most schools need to give more attention to this subject. Various methodologies used in teaching communication skills are demonstrated in an excellent chart.




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