Cultural Competency Curricula in US Graduate Medical Education: A Scoping Review

J Grad Med Educ. 2022 Feb;14(1):37-52. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-21-00414.1.


Background: Cultural competency training provides participants with knowledge and skills to improve cross-cultural communication and is required for all graduate medical education (GME) training programs.

Objective: The authors sought to determine what cultural competency curricula exist specifically in GME.

Methods: In April 2020, the authors performed a scoping review of the literature using a multidatabase (PubMed, Ovid, MedEdPORTAL) search strategy that included keywords relevant to GME and cultural competency. The authors extracted descriptive data about the structure, implementation, and analysis of cultural competency curricula and analyzed these data for trends.

Results: Sixty-seven articles met criteria for inclusion, of which 61 (91%) were focused exclusively on residents. The most commonly included specialties were psychiatry (n=19, 28.4%), internal medicine (n=16, 23.9%), and pediatrics (n=15, 22.4%). The shortest intervention was a 30-minute online module, while the longest contained didactics, electives, and mentoring programs that spanned the entirety of residency training (4 years). The sample sizes of included studies ranged from 6 to 833 participants. Eight (11.9%) studies utilized OSCEs as assessment tools, while 17 (25.4%) conducted semi-structured interviews or focus groups. Four common themes were unique interventions, retention of learning, trainee evaluation of curricula, and resources required for implementation.

Conclusions: Wide variation exists in the design, implementation, and evaluation of cultural competency curricula for residents and fellows.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cultural Competency* / education
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education
  • Internship and Residency*