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Cultural Competency

Critical to providing exceptional Pediatric health care is the ability to communicate with patients and families across a vast spectrum of cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity. In order to graduate pediatricians capable of delivering clinically sound pediatric health care in a culturally effective manner, our residents participate in a cultural competency curriculum. It is a longitudinal curriculum with different structured experiences in each year. Our goal is to provide the tools for providing culturally effective Pediatric health care and to guide clinicians in interacting with any cultural group.

Under the supervision of Dr. Imelda Huerta-Galvez, all residents, during intern orientation, receive education through didactic presentation, small group, and large group discussion of a video vignette framing the general principles of cultural competency. The concepts are formally reinforced during the intern year on the term newborn rotation through the use of role- plays.

Throughout the second year, residents work through interactive, on-line Computer Based Training modules on Cross Cultural Health Care, created and provided by the Universities of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Washington, Wisconsin, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. In the cases not only is cross-cultural communication emphasized, but also working with health care systems and health care teams to better deliver culturally effective Pediatric health care. After completion of these cases, Dr. Huerta-Galvez meets with each resident individually where the resident’s competence is determined through a structured quiz and discussion.

In the third year, the resident on the Community and Advocacy Rotation (CAR) works with culturally, socio-economically, and medically diverse patients and families as well as multi-disciplinary physician and health care teams and agencies. During the CAR experience, the resident, under supervision of Dr. Huerta-Galvez, works in her entirely Spanish speaking Latino Clinic (a medical home for Spanish speaking patients with limited English proficiency), where the resident gains skills in communication through proper employment of interpreter services. The patient is staffed with Dr. Huerta-Galvez and issues such as health beliefs, healthcare practices, language and cultural barriers, and access to care, are specifically discussed. Third year residents on CAR also attend a Community Cultural Outreach visit with Dr. Huerta-Galvez, after which they hand in a write-up about of their experiences in the Latino Clinic as well as the Cultural Outreach visit.

In addition, throughout their training at Advocate Children’s Hospital - Oak Lawn, residents are exposed to a remarkably diverse patient population. Dr. Huerta-Galvez is also readily available as a cultural broker for our residents, patients, and their families.

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