2015 IDEAS Recipient

Neha Sharma, DO
Tufts Medical Center
Innovations in Cultural Psychiatry Education of Adult Psychiatry Residents

The goals of this project are: to support the educational mission of TUSM by promoting self-awareness and integrity within medical students in order to enable them to recognize the biases that they bring to the clinical encounter; collaborating with other disciplines and providers at all levels in order to provide the most compassionate and culturally-sensitive care; developing medical students as leaders; and creating an environment for the promotion, respect, and care for the quality of diversity as well as for diverse peoples. Recognizing the need for formalized training in cultural competence, particularly at an urban medical center in an increasingly diverse country, a Physician Identity Formation will be initiated for Tufts Third Year Medical Students in 2015. The course includes self-assessment of biases, knowledge based article, and video clips of experts on the topic. Aimed at adult learners, topics are presented not only through lecture, but also through small groups, video clips, vignette discussions, and narrative. Physician Identity Formation will be a required lecture for all 3rd year medical students who are rotating through Psychiatry clerkship starting July 2015. It will run every six weeks until April 2016. The course will be evaluated by changes in Pre- and Post- course surveys. Specifically, we hope to use Clinical Cultural Competency Questionnaire that is modified for medical students. Additionally, the interpersonal and communication skills subset of assessment during standardized patient OSCE will be used to assess the course.

The long-term goal of this project is to produce a course that becomes an integral part of medical students’ curriculum, across medical specialties. The medical students could demonstrate their understanding of working with patients from diverse backgrounds by their interaction with a standardized patient, preferably from a minority group or culture, during OSCE. This would be an opportunity for students to showcase their interpersonal skills. Furthermore, the expected long-term outcome is for the medical students to retain skills and knowledge to better interact with patients in a more humble, sensitive and respectful manner, by encouraging the medical student’s curiosity of their attitudes and belief systems.