Inequalities in healthcare are a main challenge in contemporary societies and a domain that needs immediate attention in an era of globalisation and multiculturalism, while xenophonia and nationalism are recurring challenges. Cultural Competence of healthcare professionals has been acknowledged as an important skill for helping reducing health disparities and it is supported by research to associate with patient satisfaction and adherence to therapy. The foundations of cultural competence are rooted in two cultural studies components. First, the importance of in-depth understanding of the other. Second, the practice of such understanding. This encompasses the practice of qualitative inquiry . That is, critical reflection one one’s own cultural values and understanding the patient from the patient’s perspective. There is strong evidence in the literature that incorporating these anthropological elements in the training of students and healthcare professionals has not been well established in curricula. In this presentation, we will focus on how to successfully apply these two cultural studies elements by following a stepladder model which has been successfully tested in a new medical programme. The model consists of three main steps from teaching on culture and society and health to working with paper-based cases to hands-on work with simulated patients. This presentation will discuss how cultural studies can be applied for the development of students and healthcare professionals and benefit patients in the end.
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