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Primary Care Resident Perceived Preparedness to Deliver Cross-cultural Care: An Examination of Training and Specialty Differences

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Abstract

Objective

Previous research has shown that resident physicians report differences in training across primary care specialties, although limited data exist on education in delivering cross-cultural care. The goals of this study were to identify factors that relate to primary care residents’ perceived preparedness to provide cross-cultural care and to explore the extent to which these perceptions vary across primary care specialties.

Design

Cross-sectional, national mail survey of resident physicians in their last year of training.

Participants

Eleven hundred fifty primary care residents specializing in family medicine (27%), internal medicine (23%), pediatrics (26%), and obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) (24%).

Results

Male residents as well as those who reported having graduated from U.S. medical schools, access to role models, and a greater cross-cultural case mix during residency felt more prepared to deliver cross-cultural care. Adjusting for these demographic and clinical factors, family practice residents were significantly more likely to feel prepared to deliver cross-cultural care compared to internal medicine, pediatric, and OB/GYN residents. Yet, when the quantity of instruction residents reported receiving to deliver cross-cultural care was added as a predictor, specialty differences became nonsignificant, suggesting that training opportunities better account for the variability in perceived preparedness than specialty.

Conclusions

Across primary care specialties, residents reported different perceptions of preparedness to deliver cross-cultural care. However, this variation was more strongly related to training factors, such as the amount of instruction physicians received to deliver such care, rather than specialty affiliation. These findings underscore the importance of formal education to enhance residents’ preparedness to provide cross-cultural care.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by grants from The California Endowment (grant no. 20021803) and The Commonwealth Fund (grant no. 20020727)

Conflict of Interest Statement

None disclosed.

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Correspondence to Joseph A. Greer PhD.

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Greer, J.A., Park, E.R., Green, A.R. et al. Primary Care Resident Perceived Preparedness to Deliver Cross-cultural Care: An Examination of Training and Specialty Differences. J GEN INTERN MED 22, 1107–1113 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0229-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0229-x

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