Physicians care for individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. The delivery of high-quality healthcare that is meaningful, acceptable, accessible, effective, and cost efficient requires a deeper understanding of the sociocultural background of patients, their families, and the environments in which they live. The Culture, Health, and Society LCT encourages students to reflect on their own cultural values, assumptions, and beliefs and identify how those values can influence the provision of clinical care and the patient-doctor relationship.

Learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the social determinants of health, population health concepts, and key national and global population health initiatives.
  • Define health disparities and health equity and discuss the impact of efforts to eliminate disparities, in the US and globally, in the following areas: racial/ethnic, gender, LGBT, disabilities, age, geographic, and low social/economic status.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skill in cultural competency as defined by Betancourt 2002 as the “ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs”.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in cross-cultural communication and linguistic competence, with particular emphasis on basic medical Spanish.