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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 134-135

Envisaging the planning and implementation of diversity education as an integral component of medical curriculum


1 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission19-Nov-2020
Date of Decision25-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance28-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication23-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_300_20

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging the planning and implementation of diversity education as an integral component of medical curriculum. Arch Med Health Sci 2022;10:134-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging the planning and implementation of diversity education as an integral component of medical curriculum. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 6];10:134-5. Available from: https://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2022/10/1/134/347966

Sir,

On the global front, it has been envisaged that the medical colleges have to be socially accountable by ensuring that their education, research, and services primarily are in alignment with the public health problems of the society, region, and nation at large.[1] To accomplish this vision, one of the prerequisites is to ensure the delivery of diversity education as an integral part of the teaching curriculum.[1] Diversity education refers to a clinically relevant approach that is adopted to train medical students to improve cross-cultural interactions of doctor-patients, neutralize health inequity, and eventually ameliorate the health indices of the vulnerable sections of the community.[2]

The concept of diversity education acknowledges the presence of diversity at community level and thus justifies the need to train the newer crops of medical students to become competent to deal with the same.[2] The delivery of a diversity education approach helps the medical student to practice reflection on their learning, be more aware about their own opinions and behaviors, adopt a patient-centered approach which is flexible and nonjudgmental and involves the component of empathy, respect, and professionalism. In addition, the students learn to respect their colleagues and members of the health team regardless of differences of opinion.[1],[2],[3]

To train the medical students about diversity, some specific components have to be included in the curriculum, namely teaching in relevance to the sociocultural practices, equity, equality, evidence-based practices, orientation about important diversity issues (such as disability, gender, sexuality, and refugee), access to health-care delivery services, and guidelines of regulatory bodies pertaining to diversity topics.[2],[3]

The delivery of diversity education essentially requires extensive planning and the Curriculum Committee and the Medical Education Unit of the institution play a defining role in the overall organization. At the medical college level, a comprehensive diversity policy needs to be formulated that should have a component of safeguarding human rights. Moreover, the teaching-learning documents should also specify the ways in which they address diversity education.[1],[4] The administrators should create a safe platform wherein the students from different geographical locations or religions or caste can discuss a wide range of issues without any fear and improvise their thought process keeping the best interests of the society in mind.[5]

However, it is very essential to state the cultural aspects of diversity that has relevance to the clinical practice and accordingly define the learning outcomes for these issues.[4] Thus, we have to first define the diversity issues which influence the delivery of health care and for the same do individual reflection and then discuss in groups to come out with robust strategies to deal with them.[1],[2],[3] The content of the curriculum should be designed smartly, in the context of human rights and social injustice, and has to be evenly distributed across all the years of medical training.[2]

The basic intention is to avoid duplication and ensure meaningful implementation on an incremental basis (as the students move forward in their training discuss more complex issues).[1],[3] Moreover, the curriculum organizers have to ensure that the diversity remains patient-centered and should acknowledge patient preferences, their needs, and values. It is always beneficial to give exposure to the students to learn diversity in a wide range of settings (namely classrooms, hospital, and community), and it has to be imparted with the help of trained faculty members from multiple disciplines.[2],[5] Finally, there has to be a plan for the assessment of the delivered curriculum and attainment of the learning outcomes, which should eventually aid in the revision of the institutional policies for diversity education.[5] The assessment should be planned throughout the training period across different professional years, especially during formative assessments to measure the extent of learning.

In conclusion, the delivery of a diversity education to the medical students in the curriculum is an essential requirement for producing a competent health-care professional and for the attainment of the social accountability of the medical college. Each of the medical colleges has to take the responsibility for the same and ensure that the formulated learning outcomes are in alignment with the clinical practice.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Muntinga ME, Krajenbrink VQ, Peerdeman SM, Croiset G, Verdonk P. Toward diversity-responsive medical education: Taking an intersectionality-based approach to a curriculum evaluation. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2016;21:541-59.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Dogra N, Bhatti F, Ertubey C, Kelly M, Rowlands A, Singh D, et al. Teaching diversity to medical undergraduates: Curriculum development, delivery and assessment. AMEE GUIDE No. 103. Med Teach 2016;38:323-37.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Nazar M, Kendall K, Day L, Nazar H. Decolonising medical curricula through diversity education: Lessons from students. Med Teach 2015;37:385-93.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Marjadi B, Mapedzahama V, Rogers G, Donnelly M, Harris A, Donadel D, et al. Medicine in context: Ten years' experience in diversity education for medical students in greater Western Sydney, Australia. GMS J Med Educ 2020;37:Doc21.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Dogra N, Reitmanova S, Carter-Pokras O. Twelve tips for teaching diversity and embedding it in the medical curriculum. Med Teach 2009;31:990-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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