Cultural competence in medical education: A questionnaire study of Danish medical teachers' perceptions of and preparedness to teach cultural competence

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Aims: The cultural competence training of healthcare professionals is a key element in ensuring the quality of both the access and delivery of healthcare to increasingly ethnically diverse populations. The aim of this study is to investigate Danish medical teachers’ opinions about cultural competence, their willingness to receive training and preparedness to teach cultural competence topics. Methods: The survey was sent to medical teachers, clinical teachers and external lecturers who teach in the medical programme at the University of Copenhagen. A total of 1400 medical teachers received the survey, and 199 responded. The response rate is 14%. Data were analysed through descriptive calculations, and answers to open-ended questions were coded using content analysis. Results: Results showed that 82.4% of the informants agreed or strongly agreed that the medical education programme should include training on cultural issues, and 60.3% agreed or strongly agreed that students should be assessed on their cultural competence skills. Regarding preparedness to teach a diverse classroom, 88.4% felt somewhat or very prepared to engage and motivate all students. About 70% were interested in receiving training on cultural competence. Conclusions: Generally, there is interest in and acknowledgement of the importance of cultural competence in Danish medical education among teachers at the University of Copenhagen. This creates an opportunity to implement cultural competence in the medical curriculum, training of teachers and strengthening the diversity sensitivity of the organisation. However, support for this programme by management and the allocation of an appropriate level of resources is a prerequisite to the success of the programme.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)153–160
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

ID: 171784297