Some States Enacting Laws To Ensure Culturally Competent Care

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As minority and immigrant populations continue to grow across the nation, some states are enacting laws to ensure that physicians receive training in "culturally competent care ... intended to help doctors develop skills to better anticipate and understand patients from different cultures," the AP/Long Island Newsday reports.

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According to the AP/Newsday, California, New Jersey and New Mexico have laws requiring health care professionals to have culture competence training to receive or renew their medical licenses, and similar legislation is pending in Illinois. In addition, New York Assembly member Michael Benjamin (D) is sponsoring similar legislation. Benjamin said getting the bill passed for the next legislative session is one of his "top 10 priorities", adding, "We need to get doctors who are white to be more sensitive to minority patients."

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons created a program that seeks to raise awareness among physicians about specific beliefs, customs, ethnic, racial and gender differences (Bauman, AP/ Long Island Newsday, 9/30).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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