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Keywords

Cultural competence, cultural humility, cultural competence training, medical education, Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (TACCT), systematic review

Abstract

In the United States, medical students must demonstrate a standard level of “cultural competence,” upon graduation. Cultural competence is most often defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in systems, organizations, and among professionals to enable effective work in cross-cultural situations. The Association of American Medical Colleges developed the Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (TACCT) to assist schools in developing and evaluating cultural competence curricula to meet these requirements. This review uses the TACCT as a guideline to describe and assess pedagogical approaches to cultural competence training in US medical education and identify content gaps and opportunities for curriculum improvement. A total of 18 programs are assessed. Findings support previous research that cultural competence training can improve the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of medical trainees. However, wide variation in the conceptualization, implementation, and evaluation of cultural competence training programs exists, leading to differences in training quality and outcomes. More research is needed to establish optimal approaches to implementing and evaluating cultural competence training that incorporate cultural humility, the social determinants of health, and broader structural competency within the medical system.

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Valarie Jernigan