Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 226–239 | Cite as

A Psychiatric Residency Curriculum on the Care of African American Patients

  • Herbert W. Harris
  • Diane Felder
  • Michelle O. Clark
Resource Column

Abstract

Training psychiatric residents to address cross-cultural issues in their practice of psychiatry is a necessary objective of contemporary psychiatric education. Cultural issues play a critical role in the formation and expression of a patient’s personality. In addition, they are a major determinant of the context in which mental illness develops. This proposed curriculum outlines a systematic progression toward cultural competence with populations of African descent. It begins with increasing the residents’ awareness of their own cultural identity. The concept of achieving cultural competence as a continuum is utilized. Trainees should be prepared for any unfavorable reactions to this novel material. The curriculum must include accurate historic information about black culture, and general topics of diagnosis and treatment of African Americans must be covered. This should occur in congruence with trainees’ development from students to residents to psychiatrists, as they move from inpatient to outpatient, hospital to community, close supervision to autonomous functioning, gaining both skill and confidence.

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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert W. Harris
    • 1
  • Diane Felder
    • 1
  • Michelle O. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Committee of Black Psychiatrists of the American Psychiatric AssociationArlingtonUSA

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