Christopher B. White1, Peggy J. Wagner 2, Valera L. Hudson 1, Michelle R. Johnson 2 and T. Andrew Albritton 3. 1Pediatrics, 2Family Medicine, and 3Internal Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the cultural competency simulation exercise, BaFa, on medical student and resident cultural empathy, and to compare differences between medical students and residents cultural empathy.
Design/Methods: 168 first year medical students and 31 pediatric residents anonymously completed the Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy (SEE) (Wang, et al., 2003) before and after participating in BaF. The SEE measures 4 factors: Feeling and Expression, Perspective Taking, Acceptance, and Awareness. Paired t-tests were used to identify pre/post differences on the 4 factors, and repeated measure analysis of variance was used to identify differences between residents and students.
Results: Significant differences between mean scores on Perspective Taking were found for medical students and residents, while Residents also showed a significant difference on Acceptance. Medical students had consistently greater self evaluations than residents on all 4 factors
Conclusions: Based on self-reported data, the BaFa simulation helped both medical students and residents increase their ability to understand the point of view of another culture. The simulation also helped residents improve their acceptance of people in other cultures. An unexpected finding was that medical students had a much higher opinion of their own cultural competence in all areas compared with residents. This finding may parallel stages of cultural competence (Cross et al, 1989) and indicate that awareness of personal bias is an important step in acquiring competence.