Medical students' self-reported preparedness and attitudes in providing care to ethnic minorities

Ethn Dis. 2014 Winter;24(1):116-21.


Background: To assess medical students' self-reported preparedness to provide care to ethnic minorities, factors that influence preparedness, and attitudes toward cultural competency training.

Methods: A cross-sectional study, which invited University of British Columbia medical students to participate in a survey on student demographics, knowledge and awareness, preparedness and willingness, and personal attitudes. Of 1024, eligible, 301 students consented to study.

Results: Students across all year levels felt significantly less ready to provide care for non-English speaking Chinese patients compared to "any" patients. Proficiency in working with interpreters was correlated with readiness, OR 4.447 (1.606-12.315) along with 3rd and 4th year level in medical school, OR 3.550 (1.378-9.141) and 4.424 (1.577-12.415), respectively. Over 80% of respondents reported interest in learning more about the barriers and possible ways of overcoming them.

Conclusions: More opportunities for cultural competency training in the medical curriculum are warranted and would be welcomed by the students.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • British Columbia
  • China / ethnology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Competency
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups*
  • Minority Health
  • Self Report
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*