Teaching Cultural Humility and Implicit Bias to Veterinary Medical Students: A Review and Recommendation for Best Practices

J Vet Med Educ. 2020 Feb;47(1):2-7. doi: 10.3138/jvme.1117-173r1. Epub 2019 Mar 28.


Cultural humility, with its concomitant understanding of the importance of the influences of diversity and inclusion, improves health outcomes in the human medical field. Recent changes to the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education requirements in veterinary medicine include teaching the impact of implicit bias on the delivery of veterinary medical services. Because overt enhancement of self-awareness is not fodder for traditional veterinary medical education delivery systems, in this article we review existing literature on the impact of recognition of implicit bias on health care and offer insights on ways to help veterinary students learn this skill, drawing on evidence from an inter-professional intervention called WisCARES (Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services).

Keywords: assessment; communications; competency/competencies; curriculum; diversity; educational methods; primary care; veterinary teaching hospital.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Awareness
  • Bias*
  • Cultural Competency* / education
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical*
  • Education, Veterinary* / standards
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Wisconsin