A validated cultural competence curriculum for US pediatric clerkships

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Apr;79(1):77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.07.029. Epub 2009 Aug 21.


Objective: A 2006 national survey of pediatric clerkship directors revealed that only 25% taught cultural competence, but 81% expressed interest in a validated cultural competence curriculum. The authors designed and evaluated a multi-modality cultural competence curriculum for pediatric clerkships including a validated cultural knowledge test.

Methods: Curriculum content included two interactive workshops, multimedia web cases, and a Cultural and Linguistic Competence Pocket Guide. Evaluation included a student satisfaction survey, a Nominal Technique Focus Group, and a validated knowledge test. The knowledge test comprised 6 case studies with 49 multiple choice items covering the curricular content.

Results: Of 149/160 (93%) students who completed satisfaction surveys using a 5-point Likert scale, >82% strongly agreed or agreed that the curricular intervention was a meaningful experience (93%), increased their understanding of the culture of medicine (91%), increased their knowledge of racial and ethnic disparities (89%) and core cultural issues (91%), and improved their skills in working with interpreters (90%) and cross-cultural communication (82%). Top strengths identified by a focus group (34 students) included learning about interpreters, examples of cultural practices, and raised cultural awareness. Pre- and post-knowledge test scores improved by 17% (p<.0001). After six administrations, the test achieved the target reliability of .7.

Conclusions: The authors successfully designed and validated a practical cultural competence curriculum for pediatric clerkships that meets the need demonstrated in the 2006 national survey.

Practice implications: This curriculum will enable pediatric clerkship directors to equip more graduates to provide culturally sensitive pediatric care to an increasingly diverse US population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Curriculum*
  • Data Collection
  • Education
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Knowledge*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics*
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States