This study tracked student self-assessments of cultural awareness at regular intervals during the first year of a master's of science physician assistant (PA) program to test effectiveness of a cultural competency component in the curriculum.
Students completed a cultural awareness survey at the beginning of the program and retook the survey at approximately 4-month intervals throughout the first year.
Regression analyses confirmed positive linear relationships between survey number and score on 31 of 31 items.
Cultural awareness among PA students benefits from repeated exposures to lessons on cultural competency. Schools attempting to develop or expand cultural awareness among students should consider presenting material in multiple courses across terms.
The Abstracts and Brief Reports section publishes short, focused communications on research endeavors relevant to PA education or behavior. Submissions should be limited to approximately 1,500 words and one or two exhibits (tables or illustrations). The intent of this feature is to promulgate new information and provide a platform for additional research. Submissions should be sent to journal staff at [email protected]
Feature Editor's Note:
What is the most effective way to incorporate cultural competency training into the PA curriculum? With government funding, one PA program was able to develop a new cultural curriculum that introduced repeated exposures to cultural sensitivity during the first year of its program and resulted in student self-assessments showing that their competency progressively increased. PA programs considering or already offering cultural awareness components to their students will be interested to know of this curricular innovation that shows promise to inculcate at the beginning of PA students' professional education awareness of cultural factors affecting patient care.
- Michael Huckabee, PhD, MPAS, PA-C
Barbra Beck can be reached at [email protected]
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