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J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). 1998;53(3 Suppl):114-20.

Curriculum enhancement in medical education: teaching cultural competence and women's health for a changing society.

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Office on Women's Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA.


In spite of growing awareness of the need to provide minorities and women with more targeted and appropriate health care, curriculum innovation in the area of cultural competence and women's health in American medical schools has been slow. Fundamental systematic curriculum change has taken place in only a handful of medical schools., In October 1995, leaders from academia, government, and health professional organizations met with medical residents and students to develop strategies for enhancing curriculum in response to social, demographic, and health changes that are now occurring at an accelerating rate. This paper provides: a summary of the goals of curriculum enhancement, information on changing American demographic and health profiles that create the need for new curricula, a summary of progress in women's health curriculum development, a methodology for developing cultural competence curricula, a set of intellectual tasks involved in curriculum enhancement, an outline of strategies for encouraging innovation in medical schools and society at large, and responses from an expert panel.

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