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An interdisciplinary approach to cultural competence education in an academic health center

Abdesalam Soudi, Jeannette South-Paul


Described in this paper is an example of integrating humanities into health interventions or clinical care via a Masters course for graduate students in medical education. The paper outlines the background of the authors (a linguist and a family physician) and explores how their diverse experiences have impacted course development. It describes an increasing number of clinical cases in a large academic health center that spotlight cultural discordancy and subsequent barriers to quality clinician-patient communication and decision-making. It focuses on cultural and linguistic competency and demonstrates how these skills enhance our understanding of social determinants of health. Lastly, it identifies new areas for improving the quality of care in our increasingly diverse community.


Cultural competence; medical education; doctor-patient interaction; social determinants; language barriers in healthcare; medical discourse; Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations; minorities; immigrant and refugee health, person centered health

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