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A Study of a Cultural Competence and Humility Intervention for Third-Year Medical Students.



This study evaluates the effectiveness of a cultural competence and humility intervention for third-year medical students by assessing changes in clinical evaluation assessments in patient encounters.


This study examines the effect of a 1-h educational intervention on cultural competence and cultural humility for third-year medical students. Clinical assessments during observed patient encounters are compared in the clerkship before and after the intervention. The intervention adapts a previously studied cultural competence didactic and emphasizes cultural humility practices. Change in scores from the intervention cohort (clinical year 2019-2020) is compared to a pre-intervention cohort (2018-2019).


Students who completed the intervention demonstrate greater clinical competency in "relating to patients in a respectful, caring, empathetic manner" as assessed by supervising physicians compared with pre-intervention cohort students (2.7% difference in earning top two scores in subsequent clerkship, P value 0.05, Cramer's V 0.04). Greater clinical competencies were also found in the intervention students compared with pre-intervention students in the domains "demonstrates accountability, contribution and commitment to patient care" and "develops insightful, focused, pertinent questions based on clinical scenarios" (3.8% difference in earning top two scores in subsequent clerkship, P value 0.01 and 5.1% difference, P-value 0.003 with Cramer's V of 0.05 and 0.06, respectively).


Educational interventions to improve cultural competence and cultural humility are important during clinical years to shape future physicians. Our study suggests that brief interventions may improve medical students' clinical competencies. A future study with a more robust intervention is expected to yield more substantial results.

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