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Cultural Competency - Best Intentions are not good enough

Racism is a health care issue, a disease of the mind and soul and should be treated as such. Cultural competency improvement initiatives should not only address the symptoms (what most training does now), but also address causes. This guest editorial suggests developing instructional methodologies with a holistic approach. Described in the paragraphs below are the need for, and characteristics of, an alternative paradigm to the Western European centric frame that most healthcare systems in developed nations currently use as a guiding heuristic. A broader more inclusive perspective is required to clarify foundational issues, expand understanding and intrinsically incentivize attitude and behavior change. While there are multitudes of noble efforts underway to address inequities in healthcare (in policy, resource allocation, and provider training to name a few) some of this work misses the mark. The primary reason, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it" as Albert Einstein (N.D.) so adeptly warns.


Brenda Freshman

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