Cross-Cultural Clinical Skills

The following links provide resources on developing cross-cultural clinical skills. Below you will find tools to help deal with patient hostility and discomfort, how to elicit a social medical history, and various other cultural communication skills. Many of the resources are developed for healthcare practitioners but are strongly recommended for anyone interested in developing their communication skills in cross-cultural situations. Please also see the Online Training Module and the Health Literacy Sections.

Online Training Modules

Identifying one’s own biases is an important step in assuring that quality of care provided is not hindered by a patient’s ethnicity, culture, or race. The following are some tools for self-reflection and assessment for not just healthcare professionals, but anyone interested exploring their underlying attitudes and beliefs:

  • A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care is sponsored by the Office of Minority Health and is a free, online, and continuing medical education activity.
    • This learning module helps to explore cultural competency in healthcare through looking at engaging cases. Registration is open to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and all healthcare professionals.
  • Also available from the Office of Minority Health is a nure component, found here.
  • Quality Care for Diverse Populations is a Web-based training program developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians to assist physicians and other health care professionals in becoming more culturally proficient in the provision of care to their patients. Five video vignettes depicting simulated physician-patient visits in an office setting are available for free viewing. Also available here for download is a Cultural Competency Self-Assessment Questionnaire.
  • From the Health Resources and Services Administration
  • American Medical Association Web Streams
    • Several five-minute programs have been developed by the American Medical Association as part of its informational web-streaming programs, Educating Physicians on Controversies in Health (EpoCH). These are relevant to the cultural competency and health disparities training of health care professionals (e.g. Health care disparities: Language barriers in your practice; Racially tailored medicines: Is there a science behind the marketing?) and are available for free at this link.
    • A 22 minute DVD: Working Together to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities: One Physician at a Time, which comes with a suggested reading list, is also available for a nominal cost ($10 for AMA members; $15 for non-AMA members). You can order it here.
  • Cultural Competence Online for Medical Practice (CCOMP)
    • Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a Clinician's Guide to Reduce Cardiovascular Disparities is an online module to learn effective cross-cultural approaches to care for African-American patients with cardiovascular disease, especially hypertension. The module includes videos with real patient scenarios and case-based modules to increase awareness.

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