Patient/Consumer Codesign and Coproduction of Medical Curricula: A Possible Path Toward Improved Cultural Competence and Reduced Health Disparity

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There is often a sociocultural distance between medical practitioners and patients. We bridge that gap in the therapeutic alliance via improved cultural competence and an understanding of the person in their context. The traditional approach in medical education has been of learning via expert-designed curricula, which may tend to mirror the knowledge and needs of the experts. This places individuals at risk who come from culturally and linguistically diverse groups (CALD) with known health disparities: minority groups (e.g., African American); First Nations’ people; immigrants and refugees; people who speak nondominant languages; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. The authors briefly review the complex area of cultural competency and teaching delivery. The authors survey the Australian population to provide a tangible example of complex cultural diversity amid curriculum challenges. An evidence-based approach that recognizes specific health inequity; the inclusion of CALD stakeholders, students, care professionals, and education professionals; and codesign and coproduction of curriculum components is recommended. This method of people’s own stories and collaboration may be applied in any international context, correctly calibrating the learning experience. The aim is for medical students to improve their knowledge of self, others, others within groups, and recognition of unconscious biases to achieve better health outcomes within their specific communities.

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