Integrating cultural competency and humility training into clinical clerkships: surgery as a model

J Surg Educ. 2011 May-Jun;68(3):222-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2011.01.002.


Background: Cultural competency is gaining recognition as an essential strategy by which to address health care disparities. A closer examination of medical school curriculums was undertaken to determine how the need for cultural competency and humility (CCH) training in medical education is being addressed.

Methods: A MEDLINE review of published literature regarding CCH training in medical education was performed. Additionally, key informant interviews with influential faculty members from prominent medical institutions were completed.

Results: Many academic medical institutions recognize the need for CCH and have successfully integrated it into the first 2 years of their curriculums. However, there seems to be a uniform deficit in CCH training in the third and fourth years of their education.

Conclusions: Recognizing the need for CCH training during the third and fourth years of medical education, we explored the issues inherent to the integration of CCH training in clinical education. Using surgery as a model, we established a set of recommendations to assist clerkship directors and curriculum committees in their efforts to ensure CCH training in the last 2 years of medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Cultural Competency / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*