A prescription for cultural competence in medical education

J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Oct;21(10):1116-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00557.x. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Cultural competence programs have proliferated in U.S. medical schools in response to increasing national diversity, as well as mandates from accrediting bodies. Although such training programs share common goals of improving physician-patient communication and reducing health disparities, they often differ in their content, emphasis, setting, and duration. Moreover, training in cross-cultural medicine may be absent from students' clinical rotations, when it might be most relevant and memorable. In this article, the authors recommend a number of elements to strengthen cultural competency education in medical schools. This "prescription for cultural competence" is intended to promote an active and integrated approach to multicultural issues throughout medical school training.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Education, Medical / trends
  • Humans
  • Schools, Medical / trends
  • Teaching / methods
  • Teaching / trends