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J Dent Educ. 2008 Oct;72(10):1122-7.

Assessing the cultural competency of dental students and residents.

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Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-6325, USA.


This article presents a literature review of cultural competency education in the health professions (dentistry, dental hygiene, medicine, and nursing) with specific reference to methods of evaluating student and resident knowledge of cultural competency concepts and practices and clinical performance. Some important barriers to developing evaluation instruments are the following: 1) little consensus on core competency knowledge; 2) erroneous notions of race; and 3) stereotyping the behavior of racial groups. The relative advantages of the different examination methods now used to evaluate students and residents (qualitative, quantitative, practical, and self-evaluation) are reviewed, and recommendations are made regarding three instruments that schools can use to assess student knowledge and clinical performance.

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