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State Medical Education Outreach Initiative

The State Medical Education Outreach Initiative curriculum ensures that medical students and other health care professionals understand that some aspects of “culturally competent” care – including access for limited English proficient persons and non-discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color and national origin – are not only tools for effective medical practice, but also may be legally required. 

Description of the Initiative

The National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded a five-year grant to a consortium of 18 medical schools across the country for the purpose of developing curricula on cultural competency in medicine.  OCR is partnering with the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals (the Consortium) to ensure that such curricula include discussion of Federal civil rights laws.

Dr. Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, of Stanford University School of Medicine, directs a coordinating center for the Consortium.  Other Consortium medical schools include the: Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Baylor College of Medicine; Drexel University; Howard University; Morehouse School of Medicine; Texas Tech University; State University of New York, Buffalo; University of Alabama, Birmingham; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Irvine; University of Chicago; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of Maryland; University of Pennsylvania; University of Rochester; University of Washington; and Wake Forest University.

Accomplishments and Next Steps

In September 2009, OCR and the Consortium presented the curriculum, "Stopping Discrimination Before It Starts: The Impact of Civil Rights Laws on Health Care Disparities," at the Morehouse School of Medicine, to a first-year, “Fundamentals of Medicine I” class, as well as to a Family Medicine Residents’ “Didactics” class.  These emerging physicians were challenged to develop interventions to ensure Title VI compliance and act as agents for social responsibility in their individual practice settings.  The curriculum also was presented at the HHS Office of Minority Health’s 2009 National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health; Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Maya Angelou Center on Health Equity in 2008; the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions’ 2008 All-Programs Meeting; and the American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) 2007 Annual Meeting.  The curriculum, which uses innovative case materials involving a hypothetical patient with end-stage renal disease to discuss the role of health professionals in addressing potential Title VI violations in health care settings, has been highly rated by all participants.

OCR and the Consortium are continuing their collaboration to secure publication of the Title VI curriculum in the AAMC’s “MedEdPORTAL,” a Web-based tool that facilitates the exchange of high-quality, peer reviewed educational materials to medical schools nationwide.

Facilitator's Guide and PowerPoint, Medical School Curriculum: “Stopping Discrimination Before It Starts: the Impact of Civil Rights Laws on Healthcare Disparities.”  (MedEdPORTAL: Pub Id #7740)