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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor John Spencer,
Dr Peter Gill
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Introduction Learning to value ethnic diversity is the appreciation of how variations in culture and background may affect health care. It involves acknowledging and responding to an individual's culture in its broadest sense. This requires learning the skills to negotiate effective communication, a heightened awareness of one's own attitudes, and sensitivity, to issues of stereotyping, prejudice and racism. This paper aims to contribute to debate about some of the key issues that learning to value ethnic diversity creates. Context Although some medical training is beginning to prepare doctors to work in an ethnically diverse society, there is a long way to go. Promoting 'valuing ethnic diversity' in curricula raises challenges and the need to manage change, but there are increasing opportunities within the changing context of medical education. Appropriate training can inform attitudes and yield refinement of learners' core skills that are generic and transferable to most health encounters. Curriculum development Care must be taken to avoid a narrow focus upon cultural differences alone. Learning should also promote examination of learners' own attitudes and their appreciation of structural influences upon health and health care, such as racism and socioeconomic disadvantage, Appropriate training and support for teachers are required and learning must be explicitly linked to assessment and professional accreditation. Conclusion Greater debate about theoretical ap,roaches, and much further experience of developing, implementing and evaluating effective training in this area are needed. Medical educators may need to overcome discomfort in developing such approaches and learn from experience.
Author(s): Gill P; Spencer J; Kai J; Wilkes M
Publication type: Editorial
Publication status: Published
Journal: Medical Education
Print publication date: 01/08/1999
ISSN (print): 0308-0110
ISSN (electronic): 1365-2923
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.