Recommendations On Developing Health Disparity Curricula

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"Recommendations for Teaching about Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care," Annals of Internal Medicine: The position paper describes recommendations from the Society of General and Internal Medicine'sHealth Disparities Task Force on how to develop curricula for healthprofessionals that address racial and ethnic health disparities.According to the task force, curricula should focus on three learningobjective areas. The first is examining and understanding attitudesthat contribute to racial and ethnic health disparities, such asmistrust, subconscious bias and stereotyping.

The second is "gainingknowledge of the existence and magnitude of health disparities,including the multifactorial causes of health disparities and the manysolutions required to diminish or eliminate them," and the third isdeveloping the skills necessary to effectively communicate "acrosscultures, languages and literacy levels, including the use of key toolsto improve communication," the paper states. The paper adds that thegoal of health disparities curricula "should be for learners to developa commitment to eliminating inequities in health care quality byunderstanding and assuming their professional role in addressing thispressing health care crisis" (Smith et al., Annals of Internal Medicine, November 2007).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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