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Med Teach. 2019 Jan;41(1):68-74. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1439160. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Defining a framework for medical teachers' competencies to teach ethnic and cultural diversity: Results of a European Delphi study.

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a Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.
b Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care , University of Antwerp , Antwerp , Belgium.
c Limerick Medical School , Limerick , Ireland.
d VUmc Medical Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.



Medical students need to be trained in delivering diversity-responsive health care but unknown is what competencies teachers need. The aim of this study was to devise a framework of competencies for diversity teaching.


An open-ended questionnaire about essential diversity teaching competencies was sent to a panel. This resulted in a list of 74 teaching competencies, which was sent in a second round to the panel for rating. The final framework of competencies was approved by the panel.


Thirty-four experts participated. The final framework consisted of 10 competencies that were seen as essential for all medical teachers: (1) ability to critically reflect on own values and beliefs; (2) ability to communicate about individuals in a nondiscriminatory, nonstereotyping way; (3) empathy for patients regardless of ethnicity, race or nationality; (4) awareness of intersectionality; (5) awareness of own ethnic and cultural background; (6) knowledge of ethnic and social determinants of physical and mental health of migrants; (7) ability to reflect with students on the social or cultural context of the patient relevant to the medical encounter; (8) awareness that teachers are role models in the way they talk about patients from different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds; (9) empathy for students of diverse ethnic, cultural and social background; (10) ability to engage, motivate and let all students participate.


This framework of teaching competencies can be used in faculty development programs to adequately train all medical teachers.

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