British Medical Journal (BMJ)
Gishen, F; Lokugamage, A
Views And Reviews
We need to evolve curriculums that are reflective of the populations we teach and serve clinically
As patient populations grow increasingly diverse and complex, doctors and medical students should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to treat patients from minority groups equitably and non-judgmentally. Educating medical students on diversity related topics increases confidence in communication and has the potential to improve patient care. The implementation of such a “diversity curriculum” has largely been left to individual medical schools.1 Existing cultural competence training programmes have been criticised, however, for being simplistic and flattening cultural differences down to lists, with diversity training in higher education accused of being tokenistic.23
The Windrush scandal last year highlighted systemic inequalities within British organisational systems and points to the persistence of colonial influences within society. Medicine and medical education could, on some levels, be accused of “colonising” students, patients, and doctors. This analoguey is drawn by Stern who describes “biomedicine and its training as ‘colonising’ both doctor and patient.”4 By colonising, Stern means that the cultural identities of students are shaped by medical schools and the “club” of medicine.....