Background: Formal training in cultural competence for health care providers has become vital as the US population continues to become increasingly culturally diverse. However, a low percentage of medical schools offer formal training in this area, and there is a lack of curriculum evaluation reported in the literature. Purpose: To determine the impact of formal cultural competence teaching on third-year medical students' knowledge of cultural competence. Method: Data from 109 third-year medical students during the period of November 2001 to February 2004 were analyzed in the study. The intervention was a comprehensive cultural competence curriculum, and the primary outcome measure was the change score in cultural competence knowledge demonstrated by the medical students after completing a precourse and postcourse 40-item multiplechoice questionnaire. Results: Forty-seven medical students in the control group and 62 medical students in the intervention group completed both the pretest and posttest. The overall knowledge scores in the intervention group increased by 19%, compared to a 4% increase in the controls (p < .01 ). Conclusions: Third-year medical students in the intervention group were significantly empowered with cultural competence knowledge when compared to the control group.
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