ABSTRACT: Welcome to Cultural Competency: Surgery’s Efforts to Acknowledge Diversity in Residency Training.
Although cultural competency is not a new concept in healthcare, it has only recently been formally embraced as important in the field of surgery. All physicians, including and especially surgeons, must acknowledge the potential influence of culture in order to provide effective and equitable care for patients of all backgrounds. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recognizes cultural competency as a component of “patient care,” “professionalism,” and “interpersonal and communication skills.”
A systematic literature search was conducted using the MEDLINE, EBSCOhost, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. All publications focusing on surgical residents and the assessment of patient care, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, or specifically cultural competency and/or were considered. This initial search resulted in 12 articles. To further refine the review, publications discussing curricula in residencies other than surgery, the assessment of technical, or clinical skills and/or without any explicit focus on cultural competency were excluded.
Based on the specified inclusion and exclusion criteria, 5 articles were selected. These studies utilized various methods to improve surgical residents’ cultural competency, including lectures, Objective Structural Clinical Examinations (OSCE), and written exercises and evaluations.
A number of surgical residency programs have made promising strides in training culturally competent surgeons. Ultimately, in order to maximize our collective efforts to improve the quality of health care, the development of cultural competency curricula must be made a priority and such training should be a requirement for all trainees in surgical residency programs.