Culturally Appropriate Care

The ARC-PA standards highlight the importance of cross cultural communication by stating a PA program curriculum “must include instruction to prepare students to provide medical care to patients from diverse populations.” An annotation to this standard goes on to comment that “quality health care education involves an ongoing consideration of the constantly changing health care system and the impact of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities on health care delivery.” The following resources will be useful for educators and learners alike to explore resources related to cultural competency, cultural humility and cross cultural communication.


Videos & Toolkits

  • Worlds Apart. Fanlight Productions. A four-part series on cross-cultural health care. The documentary follows patients and families faced with critical medical decisions as they navigate their way through the health care system. It was shot in patients’ homes, neighborhoods, places of worship, hospital wards and community clinics, and provides a look at patient’s culture and the culture of medicine that may contribute to disparities. Organizations that wish to purchase or rent the films should contact Fanlight Productions. Also available, the “Worlds Apart” study guide.
  • Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Public Broadcasting Service. An acclaimed seven-part documentary series broadcasted by PBS that explores racial & socioeconomic inequalities in health. The video is available for $295 for colleges at, including a DVD and site/local streaming license. Also available, the “Unnatural Causes” Facilitator’s Guide.
  • Quality Care for Diverse Populations. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). To help health care workers be more culturally sensitive when caring for patients, AAFP has developed a web-based training program which includes five video vignettes depicting challenging cross-cultural patient/provider encounters in a simulated office setting.
  • Working Together to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities: One Physician at a Time. American Medical Association (AMA). This kit includes tools to help physicians and medical students eliminate gaps in health care based on race and culture. The kit contains a DVD featuring interviews with physicians, nurses, and patients discussing inequalities in health care, and a CD-ROM with facts on the components of health care disparities such as cultural competence and health literacy. It also includes a facilitation guide to help physicians and other health care providers work to improve the quality of care for all patients.

Lecture Presentations

Articles & Publications

Journal of Physician Assistant Education

Other Journals


CME Resources & Online Courses

Evaluation & Curricular Assessment Tools