ABOUT THE PROGRAM
A Cultural Competency Medical Education Program: NHLBI Grant Abstract
A multi-disciplinary team of primary care and subspecialty physicians, nutritionists, nurses, social workers, and medical educators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a comprehensive, longitudinal, integrated, case-based cultural competence training program, focusing on cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological, and sleep disorders in an effort to prepare future health professionals to address health disparities. The training program will be developed as an integral part of Curriculum 2000, a nationally recognized medical school curriculum reform initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. The program will be organized around the following domains as outlined by the AAMC Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (TACCT): 1) rationale, context and definition of cultural competence; 2) key aspects of cultural competence; 3) understanding the impact of stereotyping on medical decision making; 4) health disparities and factors influencing health; 5) cross-cultural clinical skills. The specific aims of the project are: 1) To integrate a cultural sensitivity training program into the required core curriculum and clinical clerkships and develop exportable educational materials, specifically cases, designed to produce meaningful changes in the overall knowledge, skills and attitudes of learners at all levels; 2) to implement the training program within the School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Health System (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, and health professionals); 3) to evaluate the program using process and outcome measures; 4) to disseminate the program so that other academic medical centers may benefit; and 5) to ensure that the program is supported by the Institution at the conclusion of the grant.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Specific Aims
- Specific Aims: A multi-disciplinary team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate a comprehensive, longitudinal, integrated, case-based cultural competence training program, focusing on cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological, and sleep disorders in an effort to prepare future health professionals to address health disparities. The program will be developed across the medical education continuum as a series of cases consisting of knowledge, skills and attitude objectives that can be used in sequence, combination, or individually for “trainees” on all levels. Specific aims:
- Development: To integrate a cultural sensitivity training program into the required core curriculum and clinical clerkships and develop exportable cases and educational materials designed to produce meaningful changes in the understanding of cultural competence and health disparities, and to improve knowledge, attitudes and clinical practice skills. The program will:
- cover the ethnic, cultural, religious, socioeconomic, linguistic and other factors that contribute to health disparities and propose culturally specific approaches to mitigating these disparities.
- be developed in a series of cases, each composed of core competencies, that examine how these factors may influence access to healthcare, compliance, adherence and response to treatment
- build upon the current efforts and experience with the cross cultural medical school curriculum;
- recognize the importance of improving the health care provider’s ability to deliver culturally appropriate and tailored care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors; and
- promote a multidisciplinary team approach to train practitioners about the health implications of cultural diversity and how cultural perspectives shape a person’s approach to health and illness.
- Implementation: To integrate the Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Training Program components within the Health System’s medical training programs at all levels, including:
- the undergraduate medical school, Curriculum 2000, focusing on the clinical clerkships;
- residency and fellowship training programs in internal medicine, cardiology, geriatrics, pulmonary medicine, neurology, family medicine, and pediatrics; and
- faculty development programs and continuing education initiatives for health care providers throughout the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
- Evaluation: To conduct a multidimensional program evaluation, which includes:
- assessment of the development and implementation efforts (process measures); and
- measurement of changes in knowledge, skills, and clinical practice resulting from exposure to the curriculum (outcome measures).
- Dissemination: To disseminate the training program to other academic medical centers through a variety of strategies, including:
- publications and national conference presentations;
- Internet availability;
- offering training and faculty development at other academic medical centers; and
- sponsorship of regional and/or national conferences for health professionals.
- Institutional Support: To ensure that the Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Training Program is supported by the Institution at the conclusion of the grant period by:
- incorporating competency requirements into the medical school and residency curriculum;
- gaining support of the medical school course directors and residency directors;
- developing Health System-wide policies for cultural competence among faculty; and
- collaborating with investigators and core directors of Penn-based research centers designed to reduce and eliminate health disparities.