Educational Session: Curriculum

Saturday, March 14, 2015

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Diversity Panel: Student Leaders

Description forthcoming

Curricula Interventions in Developing Cultural Competency in Veterinary Medical Education: Reflections and Future Directions
Carmen Fuentealba, Ross University
Elpida Artemiou, Ross University
Angie Warner, Tufts University
Kenita Rogers, Texas A&M University
Sherina Florant, Ross University
Adrienne Winn, Ross University

Considerable initiatives across american veterinary colleges are focused on increasing recruitment and enrollment of underrepresented groups in veterinary medical education. In addition to this ongoing commitment, attention is equally placed on developing and implementing curriculum interventions that enhance cultural awareness and competence within academic learning environments as well as in practice when working with diverse populations. While there are undeniable advantages that link cultural competence with improvement in patient outcomes as well as public health, there are challenges when first introducing and sensitizing students to different cultures, attitudes, and behaviors. Research suggests that across all United States colleges the overall climate in relation to diversity is positive and supportive, though students within underrepresented groups express feelings of discrimination and lower acceptance. Such discrepancies emerge in teaching and learning of cultural awareness and demands the continuous evaluation of diversity programs to address these; the voices of underrepresented groups can provide an insight in improving the educational experience and desired outcomes. 

Participants will be introduced to a range of curricula interventions on addressing diversity and enhancing cultural awareness. The challenges in implementing such academic programs will be discussed and representatives of the student organization Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE) will share their perceptions as to their difficulties when participating in such programs.