Abstract

Cultural diversity teaching in the medical undergraduate curriculum

In 1993, the GeneralMedical Council recommended that cultural diversity be included in UK medical school curricula. There is evidence to suggest that the number of medical schools delivering training in cultural diversity has since increased, but uncertainty remains regarding what constitutes such training. This paper discusses various training models and their limitations, and evaluates results of a study to ascertain the views of medical education stakeholders regarding the organisation of undergraduate cultural diversity teaching for medical students. The research design of the study was flexible, allowing for modification of the semistructured qualitative interviews with 61 stakeholders (including policymakers, teachers, students and service users). Results were analysed qualitatively to identify themes. There was strong agreement that cultural diversity needs to be a part of the core curriculum. Participants were uncertain about where in the curriculum it should be taught, but generally felt that it should be taught early. There was broad agreement, especially among teachers and curriculum heads, that integration of diversity issues throughout the curriculum would be better than modular teaching, but little clarity as to how this might be achieved. There was less consensus about the amount of time needed to deliver such teaching. There was clear consensus among stakeholders on how the subject should be taught, although little of it was based in any theoretical framework. Nevertheless, cultural diversity teachers felt that cultural diversity as a curricular subject lacked credibility with staff and students. There is a need to develop diversity education within a coherent educational framework, based on a clear rationale about where and why it is being taught.


Author(s): Nisha Dogra

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