Applying Theory to Assess Cultural Competency
Blue, Amy V.
Chessman, Alexander W.
Kern, Donna H.
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
Medical Education Online
(issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
Using a theoretical cultural competency model, the effectiveness of a cultural competency learning assignment was examined to determine: 1) students’ cultural competency levels as reflected through the assignment, and 2) the effectiveness of the assignment as a cultural competency learning activity. Third-year family medicine clerkship students completed a required project to research and reflect upon a patient’s “cultural belief.” Applying a model of cultural competence development, a content analysis of written project reports determined what level of cultural competence was expressed by students’ reflections. Results indicated16% of students were at “no insight”, 18% at “minimal emphasis” and 66% at “acceptance.” While many students expressed an “acceptance” competence level, not all students expressed the desired level of acceptance about the role of cultural beliefs in medical care. Application of a cultural competency theory to assess learners permits educators to frame performance changes within the context of competency achievement and determine if desired levels of competency have been achieved.