Implementing a diversity sensitive curriculum in medical education – challenges and potentials

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Migrant and ethnic minority populations in Europe are growing, consequently increasing the need for the health systems and health educations to adapt to an increasingly diverse population with diverse needs. Improving health professionals’ diversity competences has been proposed as one of the solutions to tackle inequalities in health between different ethnic groups and ensure that all patients receive the care that they need. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate potentials and challenges for implementing diversity competences in medical teaching programmes.
Four focus groups interviews and one individual interview was conducted with three groups of stakeholders: medical students, course leaders and newly graduated medical physicians. The focus group and individual interviews were conducted physically and digital and one focus group used both. The interviews had a duration between 30-90 minutes and informed consent was obtained from all participants. The data was transcribed and were coded using content analysis.
6 main themes and 14 sub-themes were identified in the analyses. One theme indicated that there was a general wish for more focus on diversity competences in the curriculum. Other themes pointed to challenges regarding competing priorities in the context of medical education, a condescending discourse about social and humanistic medicine and lack of support to medical students regarding challenges in relation to migrant and ethnic minority patients in the clinical settings. Another major theme focused on medical teachers’ challenges when teaching a diverse classroom.
Our results showed that action in this area is needed. The themes indicated that many opportunities to implement diversity competence in curriculum exist, but also illuminated the challenges. The results suggested a need for focusing on individual competences for medical teachers and students, but also for organisational change.
Translated title of the contributionImplementering af diversitets-kompetencer i den præ-graduate lægeuddannelser- udfordringer og potentialer
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSupplement 3
Pages (from-to)506
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event14th European Public Health Conference - Public health futures in a changing world - Virtuel, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Nov 202112 Nov 2021
Conference number: 14


Conference14th European Public Health Conference - Public health futures in a changing world
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ID: 288849037