Culturally responsive health care education is the process of learning to provide excellent health care to patients from diverse populations.
The vision at Penn State College of Medicine is to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to provide culturally excellent health care and research for an increasingly diverse U.S. population.
This vision statement was created in 2018 by a task force formed in response to learner-identified gaps in diversity, equity and inclusion in the medical education curriculum. (See the full list of task force recommendations here.)
The vision aligns with the identification of culturally responsive care as part of the diversity mission and vision priorities of the College of Medicine and Penn State Health.
The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education oversees the implementation of this vision across the College of Medicine. It serves course directors, educators and learners across the College of Medicine by helping to develop or enhance culturally responsive content and practices.
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More About Culturally Responsive Health Care Education
Dr. Dalke’s background is in culturally excellent care for patients with sexual and gender diversity. Her experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals and communities informs a holistic approach to patient care, medical education and systems advocacy.
As mentioned elsewhere on this page, culturally responsive health care education is the process of learning to provide excellent health care to patients from diverse populations.
Such populations include, but are not limited to, those defined by:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity and expression
- Veteran status
Providing health care that is responsive to these populations allows clinicians to best promote health, reduce the impact of disparities and work toward health equity.
Culturally responsive health care education is centered on the needs and skills of patients and learners. It is a collaborative, intersectional and inclusive approach to care and education, with a focus on promoting self-awareness and practice-based learning.
The Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education oversees the implementation of the vision across the College of Medicine.
It ensures the medical student curriculum meets Liaison Committee on Medical Education standards for cultural competence and the college’s commitment to cultural excellence.
In addition to content-specific sessions, the office works to ensure the curriculum in culturally responsive health care is developmental and integrated across the four pillars of the College of Medicine: biomedical sciences, health humanities, clinical sciences and health systems science.
The office also seeks to ensure the learning environment is itself culturally responsive.
Learning objectives and content are developed and assessed collaboratively with:
- Educational leadership and course directors
- Community partners
Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine have several affinity resource/networking groups that focus on the interests of specific groups of individuals.
These groups include:
- Disability Affinity Resource Network Group
- Group on Women in Medicine and Science
- Interfaith Affinity Resource Network Group
- LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Resource Network Group
- Military/Veterans Affinity Resource Network Group
- Multicultural Affinity Resource Network Group
The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office for Culturally Responsive Health Care Education have compiled a guide of key terms and institutional values relating to cultural diversity and cultural responsiveness. These concepts help define the goals and values around culturally responsive health care.
Penn State College of Medicine has a number of diversity resources available for faculty, including:
- Guidelines on dealing with inappropriate patient comments
- Links to publications on relevant topics, such as a guide to revising teaching cases
- A detailed resource list related to LGBTQI+ issues
- Links to relevant University and College of Medicine policies on diversity, equity and inclusion
Faculty may also request a consultation on course development or assistance planning an event by emailing Dr. Katharine Dalke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With questions or concerns about the educational curriculum or culture, email Dr. Katharine Dalke at email@example.com or fill out the learner mistreatment reporting form. Reports made through the form may be submitted anonymously.
Students can also directly email Dr. George Blackall in the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynette Chappell-Williams in the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at email@example.com.
Students who require an academic accommodation due a disability should contact Student Disability Services. Disclosure of a disability is considered confidential and protected under HIPAA; it is not part of the academic record.