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Acad Psychiatry. 2008 Jul-Aug;32(4):291-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.32.4.291.

Using non-feature films to teach diversity, cultural competence, and the DSM-IV-TR outline for cultural formulation.

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University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.



Feature films have been used for teaching in psychiatry for many years to demonstrate diagnoses, but the use of documentary and instructional films in resident and staff cultural competence training have not been extensively written about in the medical and psychological literature. This article will describe the films that have been used by the authors and suggest methods for their use in cultural competence and diversity training.


A literature search was done using MEDLINE and PsychINFO and the authors were asked to describe their teaching methods.


One article was found detailing the use of videotapes as a stimulus but not for cultural competence education, and two articles were found documenting the use of The Color of Fear as a stimulus for the discussion of racism. However, many educators use these films all across the country for the purpose of opening discussion about racism.


Documentary, instructional, and public service announcements can be useful in teaching culturally competent assessment and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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