Johanna Shapiro, Judy Hollingshead & Elizabeth H Morrison
Achieving cultural competence in learners is an important goal for all primary care residency programs. Promoting this end, cross-cultural training guidelines have been formulated for family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Cultural competence in physicians has been defined as the ability to understand and work with patients whose beliefs, values, and histories are significantly different from one’s own, and includes elements of awareness, knowledge and skill. Failure to pay attention to cultural differences can lead to misdiagnosis, lack of cooperation, poor use of health services, and patient alienation and mistrust.