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Title:Evaluation of cultural competency medical education curriculum through the assessment of changes in student racial attitudes
Author(s):Ruiz, Maribeth S.
Director of Research:Smith, Diane L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Alston, Reginald J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Smith, Diane L.; Robinson-McNeese, Wesley G.; Notaro, Stephen J.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):medical school education
cultural competency
racial attitudes
Abstract:This study examined whether there was a significant change in incoming medical students' attitudes towards cultural competency issues (in this case color-blind racism) following a cultural competency intervention during the first year of medical school. This study also examined whether there were significant differences in cultural attitudes when scores were examined by the student demographics of gender, race/ ethnicity, immigration status, income, social status, undergraduate major, graduate degree and age with regards to both: i. one‘s initial attitudes and ii. change in one‘s attitudes with the given intervention. Finally, this study examined whether there was in improvement in changes in cultural attitudes towards cultural competency in comparison to first year medical students of two consecutive cohorts, given that the second first-year medical student cohort received additional opportunities for exposure to cultural competency-related curriculum. Overall 291 surveys using the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS) were collected over a two year period (with a total of four survey administration dates) at a U.S. Midwestern medical school. Two main research hypotheses were tested using independent t-test and nonparametric Mann-Whitney tests. This study found no significant change in CoBRAS mean scores between pre- and post- intervention dates. The study did find significant changes in mean CoBRAS scores when scores were separated by both gender and race/ ethnicity, with such significance disappearing in the post-intervention dates. No significant change in mean CoBRAS scores were found between the two cohort years. This study highlights the need for further quantitative analysis of changes in medical student racial attitudes as a measure of cultural competency as well as the need to work towards a required, comprehensive, and integrated cultural competency program.
Issue Date:2010-08-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Maribeth S. Ruiz
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-31
Date Deposited:2010-08

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