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Module 9: Competent Care

Upon completion of this module, the resident should be able to:

  1. Define and describe the significance of cultural competence.
  2. Identify the demographic and other factors that generate and underscore the need for cultural competence in medicine and health care.
  3. Identify and utilize practical approaches to the provision of culturally competent treatment and care, especially in taking the patient's history.
  4. Describe and critique the ethical justification for cultural competence.
  5. Identify the ways in which culturally sensitive and competent care may require different approaches to such ethically significant issues as valid decision making and informed consent or refusal, withholding and withdrawing treatment, etc.
  6. Identify and utilize practical tips for being culturally sensitive and competent.

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Additional Resources

The website for the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development is an excellent resource for health care professionals.  It is located at:

Although tailored to the needs of health care professionals in the Seattle, Washington area, the Cross Cultural Health Care Program has a resource-rich website, including downloadable profiles of twelve different ethnic communities.  To download one or more profiles, go to:

Brief, useful profiles of dominant ethnic communities (Anglo-American, Middle Eastern, Hispanic/Mexican, Southeast Asian, African-American) can be found in a downloadable pamphlet at:

EthnoMed is a comprehensive website for cultural competency; it can be found at:  DiversityRx is another; it is located at:

Issues in Islamic Medical Ethics is a website maintained by the University of Virginia.  It can be found at:

The George Washington University Center for Spirituality and Health maintains a website with a wide range of resources on the relationship between faith, health, and medicine; it is located at:  Christina Pulchalsky, MD, M.S., the center’s director, is a nationally recognized leader in spirituality and health; she has authored many articles on the integration of spiritual issues and concerns in medical practice.  One that is well worth reading can be found at:

An interesting powerpoint presentation, which addresses the history of the link between spirituality and health, as well as current thinking and practice, can be found at:

Posttest / Transcript

Module: 9 ETHICSMOD-9 Competent Care Posttest Available  

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