A crash-course in cultural competence

Ethn Dis. 2006 Spring;16(2 Suppl 3):S3-29-36.


America is a multi-cultural society. Yet, there are cultural dimensions to the clinician-patient relationship that have not been systematically addressed in medical education or in clinical practice. Lack of diversity and lack of cross-cultural skills in the medical profession may contribute to health disparities in America. Cultural competence for the medical profession represents a core set of skills that can be learned to respectfully and effectively communicate healthcare information with diverse patient populations. The authors blended their extensive literature review with the knowledge and experience of a culturally diverse medical team to develop the CRASH-Course in Cultural Competency training program for medical professionals. CRASH is a mnemonic for the following essential components of culturally competent health care--consider Culture, show Respect, Assess/Affirm differences, show Sensitivity and Self-awareness, and do it all with Humility. The goal of the CRASH-Course in Cultural Competency is to build confidence and competence in the clinician's ability to communicate effectively with diverse patient populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • United States