What Matters in Health Disparities Education—Changing Hearts or Minds?
All medical educators face this question when planning curricula and in the daily course of teaching: “Is it enough to give our students the cognitive tools they need to function effectively, in the form of knowledge or skills, or should we also focus on their attitudes and motivation—their affective inclination and desire to use these tools?” In other words, should we focus on students′ hearts or minds? As several of the manuscripts in this Supplement illustrate, this question is particularly contentious in the context of teaching about health disparities and cultural competency, when addressing students′ attitudes and motivation can be seen as an educator passing judgment1,2.
The hearts and minds question is especially relevant when teaching interpersonal aspects of care, such as respect and empathy. Some educators prefer to teach specific skills–greet the patient when you come into the room, reflect back the emotion expressed by the patient, etc. An appealing aspect of skills-based t ...
- Murphy-Shigematsu S. Respect and empathy in teaching and learning cultural medicine. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1217-0.
- Teal CR, Gill A, Thompson BM, et al. When best intentions aren’t enough: helping medical students develop strategies for managing bias about patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1243-y.
- Beach MC, Duggan PS, Cassel CK, Geller G. What does ‘respect’ mean? Exploring the moral obligation of health professionals to respect patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2007;22:692–5. CrossRef
- Mostow C, Crosson J, Gordon S. Teaching and precepting with RESPECT. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1274-4.
- Pellegrino ED. Toward a virtue-based normative ethics for the health professions. Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1995;5(3):253–77.
- Friedman M. What are friends for? Feminist perspectives on personal relationships and moral theory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press; 1993.
- Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of biomedical ethics. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001.
- McConnell AR, Liebold JM. Relations between the implicit association test, explicit racial attitudes, and discriminatory behavior. J Exp Soc Psychol. 2001;37:435–42. CrossRef
- Beach MC, Roter DL, Wang NY, Duggan PS, Cooper LA. Are physicians′ attitudes of respect accurately perceived by patients and associated with more positive communication behaviors? Patient Educ Couns. 2006;62:347–54. CrossRef
- Haidet P. Where we′re headed: a new wave of scholarship on educating medical professionalism. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23(7):1118–9. CrossRef
- Shiv B, Fedorikhin A. Heart and mind in conflict: interplay of affect and cognition in consumer decision making. J Consumer Res. 1999;26:278–82. CrossRef
- Beagan BL. Teaching social and cultural awareness to medical students: “it's all very nice to talk about it in theory, but ultimately it makes no difference.” Acad Med. 2003;78(6):605–14. CrossRef
- van Ryn M. Research on the provider contribution to race/ethnicity disparities in medical care. Med Care. 2002;40(1 Suppl):I140–51.
- Gonzales CM, Bussey-Jones J. Disparities education: what do students want? J Gen Intern Med. 2010;doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1250-z.
- What Matters in Health Disparities Education—Changing Hearts or Minds?
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 198-199
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- 1. Division of General Medicine, Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center, 1900 W. Polk Street, 16th floor, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA
- 2. Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA
- 3. Portland VA Medical Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA