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.
- Federal Register. Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. An excerpt from the Federal Register, October 30, 1997, detailing how race is classified for federal documentation and research purposes.
- American Association of Physical Anthropologists Statement on Biological Aspects of Race. Originally published in 1996, this document details the lack of genetic or biological differences between races.
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 http://www.unnaturalcauses.org, 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.
- Culturally Competent Approaches to Healthcare. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Defines cultural competency and outlines how to achieve this at an organizational and personal level.
Articles & Publications
Journal of Physician Assistant Education
- Integrating Cultural Competency Throughout a First-Year Physician Assistant Curriculum Steadily Improves Cultural Awareness. 2013. Beck B, Cheel M, De Oliveira K, Hopp J.
- Physician Assistant Program Education on Spirituality and Religion in Patient Encounters. 2013. Berg G, Whitney M, Wentling C, Hervey A, Nyberg S.
- The Use of Race and Ethnicity in Clinical Case Scenarios. 2002. Canales R, Stevens M.
- Should We Rethink How We Teach Cultural Competency in Physician Assistant Education? 2012. Kelly P. Explores other areas of cultural competency beyond race and ethnicity.
- Family Cultural Portrait and Cultural Perspectives of Death and Dying: Two Models of Cultural Competence Learning Experiences. 2001. Miller A, Morton-Rias D.
- Multicultural Sensitivity of Physician Assistant Students after Instituting Cultural Competence Instruction. 2005. Schneider V, Thompson B, Celis M.
- Description of Cultural Competency Education in Physician Assistant Programs. 2006. Symington S, Cooper K, Wallace L.
- A Teaching Framework for Cross-Cultural Health Care: Application in Family Practice. Cross-Cultural Medicine, 1983. Berlin EA, Fowkes WC. This article contains information regarding the LEARN method of cultural communication.
- Cross-Cultural Medical Education in the United States: Key Principles and Experiences. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 2009. Betancourt JR, Cervantes M.
- A Prescription for Cultural Competence in Medical Education. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2006. Kripalani S, Bussey-Jones J, Katz MG, Genao I.
- Language Services Resource Guide for Health Care Providers. National Health Law Program, 2006. Sampson A. In 2003, the National Health Law Program convened national organizations interested in working together on language access issues. Through a coalation of multiple stakeholders, the collation developed a resource guide for healthcare providers with information on how to effectively provide language services. Information includes interpreter and translator associations and agencies, training programs, assessment tools, and other materials.
- Office of Minority Health Equity & Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (the National CLAS Standards) are intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This website details the CLAS standards and has links to an implementation guide to help providers advance and sustain appropriate services within their organization.
- Are You Practicing Cultural Humility? The Key to Success in Cultural Competence. California Health Advocates
- Best Practices for Communicating Through an Interpreter. Refugee Health Technical Assistance
CME Resources & Online Courses
- A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care. US Department of Health and Human Services. A self-directed training course designed for physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. This e-learning program will equip health care providers with competencies that will enable them to better treat the increasingly diverse US population. Nine hours of CME are available.
- Effective Communication Tools for Healthcare Professionals: Addressing Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP). US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Free online course: five modules that will take approximately five hours to complete.