A validated cultural competence curriculum for US pediatric clerkships

Angela P. Mihalic, Jay B. Morrow, Rosita B. Long, Alison E. Dobbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: A 2006 national survey of pediatric clerkship directors revealed that only 25% taught cultural competence, but 81% expressed interest in a validated cultural competence curriculum. The authors designed and evaluated a multi-modality cultural competence curriculum for pediatric clerkships including a validated cultural knowledge test. Methods: Curriculum content included two interactive workshops, multimedia web cases, and a Cultural and Linguistic Competence Pocket Guide. Evaluation included a student satisfaction survey, a Nominal Technique Focus Group, and a validated knowledge test. The knowledge test comprised 6 case studies with 49 multiple choice items covering the curricular content. Results: Of 149/160 (93%) students who completed satisfaction surveys using a 5-point Likert scale, >82% strongly agreed or agreed that the curricular intervention was a meaningful experience (93%), increased their understanding of the culture of medicine (91%), increased their knowledge of racial and ethnic disparities (89%) and core cultural issues (91%), and improved their skills in working with interpreters (90%) and cross-cultural communication (82%). Top strengths identified by a focus group (34 students) included learning about interpreters, examples of cultural practices, and raised cultural awareness. Pre- and post-knowledge test scores improved by 17% (p < .0001). After six administrations, the test achieved the target reliability of .7. Conclusions: The authors successfully designed and validated a practical cultural competence curriculum for pediatric clerkships that meets the need demonstrated in the 2006 national survey. Practice implications: This curriculum will enable pediatric clerkship directors to equip more graduates to provide culturally sensitive pediatric care to an increasingly diverse US population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Cultural competence
  • Currriculum
  • Medical education
  • Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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