Online Program

Cultural competency training in schools and colleges of optometry

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matthew Pearce, OD, DrPH, MPH, FAAO, Department of Optometry, Northwest Permanente, Portland, OR
Background: Racial and ethnic minorities have poorer health outcomes compared to whites; this includes higher rates of blindness and visual impairment. The provision of culturally competent care has been identified as a way to decrease disparate health outcomes. Schools and colleges of optometry joined the movement of cultural competence later than other professions. Methods: In order to determine the state of cultural competency training in schools and colleges of optometry a survey was sent to the Chief Academic Officers of the 21 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. Results: Of the 21 institutions invited to participate, 15 (71%) responded. Cultural competency training is provided by 8 (53%) of 15 respondents for clinical faculty, and by 12 (86%) of 14 respondents' for students. Cultural competency training takes place throughout the curriculum for the majority of respondents (10/11, 91%). All institutions (12/12) provide cultural competency training in a class room based setting. Student attainment of cultural competency is not specifically assessed by 7 (58%) of 12 respondent institutions. Conclusion: Schools and colleges of optometry are still lagging in the provision of cultural competency training. Cultural competency training should be provided throughout optometric curriculum in a consistent structural format across programs. A hands-on workshop format is preferred. Training should be provided to clinical faculty to ensure they are able to be positive clinical role models for students. Active assessment of students should be conducted to ensure they are obtaining and able to implement desired cultural competency proficiencies.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current status of cultural competency training in US schools and colleges of optometry. Identify areas of strength and weakness related to cultural competency training in US schools and colleges of optometry.

Keyword(s): Vision Care, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in public health eye care, education and research domestically and internationally for 8 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.