Cultural competence is an essential element of general practice, and medical students must learn to effectively connect with patients from all backgrounds. The National Medical Council (NMC) has included cultural competence as a subject of the medical education curriculum, and many medical accrediting bodies agree that medical students should be trained to care for diverse patient populations. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education states that medical school teachers and students must demonstrate an understanding of how people from different cultures and belief systems perceive health and illness. International medical graduates (IMG) must be aware of the diverse social, economic, religious, linguistic, and cultural needs of their American patients upon entering Graduate Medical Education (GME).
Cultural competency training has become a prominent part of medical education in many countries, and IMGs must also become familiar with the abundance of medical jargon and abbreviations. The Medical Council of Australia has reviewed the standards for evaluation and accreditation of primary medicine programs. Studies have been conducted to analyze the effect of international experiences on attitudes towards serving underserved multicultural populations. It is clear that there is a lack of dedication and knowledge about cultural competence in the medical profession and training programs, which emphasizes the need for further research.
High-level educators and administrators can benefit from training in fundamental cultural competencies to act as successful promoters and collaborators. An examination of cultural competency training in American medical education based on the tool for evaluating training in cultural competencies can help identify the strengths perceived by family medicine residents with an international degree in medicine (IMG) and the challenges they face when integrating into Canadian family medicine. Competency-based medical education has emerged as a recent educational paradigm, and many health education programs around the world have adopted it. This approach focuses on integrative self-exploration and growth, which includes affective, cognitive, skill and behavioral learning in the training of practicing professionals and learners.
This could lead to a greater appreciation of cultural competence and to its adoption as a powerful force in medical education that enhances the capacity and knowledge to serve all people.