Objectives: The objective of this study is to analyze the content and volume of literature that has been written on cultural competency in emergency medicine since its educational imperative was first described by the Institute of Medicine in 2002.
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search through the PUBMED portal in January 2015 to identify all articles and reviews that addressed cultural competency in emergency medicine. Articles were included in the review if cultural competency was described or if its impact on healthcare disparities or curriculum development was described. Two reviewers independently investigated all relevant articles. These articles were then summarized.
Results: Of the 73 abstracts identified in the initial search, only 10 met criteria for inclusion. A common theme found among these 10 articles is that cultural competency in emergency medicine is essential to reducing healthcare disparities and improving patient care. These articles were consistent in their support for cross-cultural educational advancements in the EM curriculum.
Conclusion: Despite the documented importance of cultural competency education in medicine, there appears to be only 10 articles over the past 12 years regarding its development and implementation in emergency medicine. This comprehensive literature review underscores the relative dearth of publications related to cultural competency in emergency medicine. The limited number of article findings is striking when compared to the growth of emergency medicine research over the same time period and can serve as a stimulus for further research in this significant area of EM education.