Discussing cultural competence with your peer group
1 September 2018
Cultural competence skills will help you to develop strong relationships with your patients and their families, leading to greater accuracy in diagnosis, improved treatment plans and greater continuity of care when consulting with people of cultural backgrounds that are different to your own.
Fellows and registrars of the College are expected to have developed their cultural competence skills to a high level, and to continue to maintain this.
The College's CPD programme includes the requirement that a small proportion of a doctor’s CPD activities include activities relating to cultural competence at an individually appropriate level.
Aside from the fact that all GPs wish to provide the best possible care and achieve the best outcomes for their patients, there are several other factors that have led to the growing awareness of the need for culturally competent health care; in particular, the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act’s (‘HPCAA’) legislative requirement for cultural competence.
Ultimately, the result of increased cultural competency skills is greater doctor and patient satisfaction, with better health outcomes.
What's more, cultural competency is an important part of workplace health. Becoming more culturally aware can improve your workplace relationships, fostering a sense of mutual understanding and respect between colleagues.
One way of brushing up on these skills is to have a reflective discussion with your peer group, to encourage better understanding and consideration of the cultural components of health care.
You might record these discussions as credit towards your cultural competency CPD requirements (please note that for one peer group session, you may claim credit towards your cultural competency requirements or your peer group requirements – not both).
Some possible starting points are listed below, with some handy resources and tips to help you have a productive session.