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Developing Culturally Competent Community Faculty: A Model Program

Ferguson, Warren J. MD; Keller, David M. MD; Haley, Heather-Lyn PhD; Quirk, Mark EdD

Academic Medicine:

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education recently set standards for cultural diversity training as part of the medical school curriculum. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first description of a faculty-development program designed to develop the capacity of the clinical faculty to integrate culture and advocacy education into clinical training. The paper describes the first two years of the development of an ongoing cultural competence curriculum that has been integrated into the training of community preceptors from 13 medical schools in New England and New York. The training, entitled “Teaching the Culture of the Community,” consists of four 2.5-hour modules that include interactive lectures and small-group role-play exercises on cultural needs assessment, patient-centered interviewing, feedback on cultural issues and use of the community to enhance cultural understanding. The 137 participants in the first two years of the program (1999–00 and 2000–01) reported a high level of acceptance of the curriculum. In the second year, the program began to document participants’ self-reported “intention to change” in relation to the cultural competence curriculum. Many participants reported plans to change aspects of their clinical care and their teaching practices. Intentions to change were most frequently expressed in the context of content on effective communication skills. In summary, cultural competency training has been successfully integrated into an existing faculty-development program for community-based preceptors.

Author Information

Dr. Ferguson is assistant professor of family medicine and community health; Dr. Keller is associate professor of clinical pediatrics; Dr. Haley is research coordinator, Community Faculty Development Center; and Dr. Quirk is professor of family medicine and community health; all at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), Worcester, Massachusetts. All are faculty members of the Community Faculty Development Center, UMMS.

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Ferguson, Community Faculty Development Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655; phone: (508) 856-6669; fax: (508) 856-1212; e-mail: 〈〉.

© 2003 Association of American Medical Colleges