Communication between healthcare providers and patients can be less effective when patient and provider have different cultural backgrounds. While “Cultural Competency” training has helped some providers to open awareness of cultural factors that may affect patients’ interactions, Cultural Humility training goes further to address explicit and implicit assumptions, recognizing and redressing power imbalances. Cultural humility is an ongoing process of critiquing one’s own culture while striving to respectfully understand others.
Cultural Humility training enables providers to become aware of the influence of their own culture and assumptions that limit clear cross-cultural communication in the medical setting. Because cultural influences are an evolving, non-static issue, providers benefit from tools for on-going re-assessment leading to a continuous improvement model for institutional accountability, inter-cultural communication over the long-term and across multiple cultures. It changes the construct of communication from a more paternalistic style to a process of building trust, contributing to partnerships that are mutually beneficial and more patient-centered.
The Area Health Education Center for western Washington (AHECWW) will host two training sessions at the Northwest Rural Health Conference in Seattle on:
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Northwest Rural Health Conference is held at the Hilton Seattle Airport, in SeaTac. Register for the conference here.
- Address the need for knowledge about different cultural perspectives
- Present methods for developing skills for culturally-appropriate interactions
- Assist providers to develop self-awareness of their own cultural heritage and its influence on attitudes, beliefs and assumptions
- Define culture and explore its definitions across different cultures
- Clarify the difference between “Cultural Competency” and “Cultural Humility”
- Provide examples of effective tools for intercultural communication specific to the medical setting
- Meet the CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards) requirements for continuing education in clinical practice
Dr. Carlos Mejia Rodriguez was born in Honduras and practiced there as a physician for 17 years in the private and public sectors. His focus as a professional has been children and families, and disadvantaged groups such as indigenous, miners, farmworkers, rural areas, and low-income neighborhoods. Since moving to the US in 2002, Dr. Mejia Rodriguez has served as an adviser to the board of Shelbyville Free Clinic (TN), pursued a PhD in community health education and promotion, and is currently focused on cultural humility research trainings.
View slides from the on-line class in Cultural Humility for Healthcare Professionals.