October 2004 Bulletin

Taking cultural sensitivity to the next level

Symposium, interactive challenge featured at 2005 Annual Meeting

By Ramon Jimenez, MD

Cultural sensitivity is the ability to understand and respect the needs of patients from a different culture than yours and to deliver care that is consistent with those needs. The Diversity Committee recognizes that orthopaedists need to be taught those things, just as we are taught how to diagnose and treat orthopaedic conditions.

Last year, AAOS members could “Take the Challenge”—the Cultural Competency Challenge. Developed by the AAOS Diversity Committee and sponsored by Zimmer, Inc., the interactive quiz was a hit: 92 percent of those who took the challenge were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the program and considered culturally competent care pertinent to their practice. In addition, 72 percent were interested in learning more about this important topic.

Patient-centered case studies are just part of the cultural competency curriculum prepared by the Diversity Committee for the 2005 Annual Meeting.

The pilot program demonstrated unique cultural considerations within the context of the patient/physician encounter. This year, the Diversity Committee is taking the challenge to the next level by developing significant educational programming for the 2005 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

A cultural competency curriculum

The Diversity Committee is preparing more than 20 patient-centered case studies for an interactive self-assessment CD-ROM curriculum. Each case features a patient/physician encounter and five multiple-choice questions. Correct answers, complete with rationale and evidence base, will be supplied for every question.

These cases present an approach to patient history-taking, consultation and patient management that can be applied to any situation where culture or gender differences may complicate communication and treatment.

The improved and expanded Cultural Competency Challenge can help you learn or reinforce your individual knowledge of cultural care issues, without the pressure of an actual patient encounter. It will be particularly useful in a residency setting to teach the next generation of orthopaedists.

The new program will be showcased at the 2005 Annual Meeting. Try the program and pick up a free copy of the CD-ROM at the Diversity Committee exhibit. After the Annual Meeting, the CD-ROM will be offered via the AAOS Diversity in Orthopaedics Web site: http://www.aaos.org/diversity

Communications symposium

Another educational offering will be a symposium at the 2005 Annual Meeting. “Cultural Competency: Enhancing your Communications” addresses the need for better communication skills to improve patient outcome and satisfaction. Cultural competency is basically good care.

The symposium will complement and reinforce the Academy’s commitment to fostering improved patient/physician communication. Using case presentations to promote open discussions, it will explore real-life solutions to the barriers to patient/physician communication that arise from ethnic or cultural differences. It will incorporate evidence-based studies to help illustrate the benefits of cultural competence in physician practices.

“Culturally competent care is not a passing fad,” said Kimberly Templeton, MD, symposium presenter. “It is an important contributor to eliminating health care disparities and we must make it a part of our daily clinical practice.”

Zimmer, Inc. agrees. In its mission to support diversity initiatives, Zimmer recently awarded the AAOS a grant to fully fund the creation and development of the expanded Cultural Competency Challenge learning program on CD-ROM.

Ramon Jimenez, MD, is chair of the AAOS Diversity Committee as well as mentor and faculty member for the Communication Skills Mentoring Program. He can be reached at ramon@jimenez.net

Plan your Annual Meeting schedule

The Cultural Competency Symposium will take place Wednesday, February 23, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center, Room 204. To try the Cultural Competency Challenge and receive your free CD-ROM, visit Academy Row across from the AAOS Resource Center in Hall D. For more information about the AAOS Diversity Committee and diversity-related issues, visit http://www.aaos.org/diversity.

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