Cultural competency training for public health students: integrating self, social, and global awareness into a master of public health curriculum

Am J Public Health. 2015 Mar;105 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S132-40. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302506.


Cultural competency training in public health, medicine, social work, nursing, dental medicine, and other health professions has been a topic of increasing interest and significance. Despite the now burgeoning literature that describes specific knowledge, attitudes, and skills that promote cultural "competence," fully defining this complex, multidimensional term and implementing activities to enhance it remain a challenge. We describe our experiences in introducing a mandatory, full-day workshop to incoming Master of Public Health students, called "Self, Social, and Global Awareness: Personal Capacity Building for Professional Education and Practice." The purpose of the program is to provide a meaningful, structured environment to explore issues of culture, power, privilege, and social justice, emphasizing the centrality of these issues in effective public health education and practice.

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Competency*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Graduate*
  • Education, Public Health Professional*
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Power, Psychological
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Justice
  • Staff Development