"Oh! She doesn't speak english!" Assessing resident competence in managing: Linguistic and cultural barriers

  • Zabar S
  • Hanley K
  • Kachur E
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Residents must master complex skills to care for culturally and linguistically diverse patients. METHODS: As part of an annual 10-station, standardized patient (SP) examination, medical residents interacted with a 50-year-old reserved, Bengali-speaking woman (SP) with a positive fecal occult blood accompanied by her bilingual brother (standardized interpreter (SI)). While the resident addressed the need for a colonoscopy, the SI did not translate word for word unless directed to, questioned medical terms, and was reluctant to tell the SP frightening information. The SP/SI, faculty observers, and the resident assessed the performance. RESULTS: Seventy-six residents participated. Mean faculty ratings (9-point scale) were as follows: overall 6.0, communication 6.0, knowledge 6.3. Mean SP/SI ratings (3.1, range 1.9 to 3.9) correlated with faculty ratings (overall r=.719, communication r=.639, knowledge r=.457, all P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cross-language skills
  • Medical education
  • Residency evaluation

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Authors

  • Sondra Zabar

  • Kathleen Hanley

  • Elizabeth Kachur

  • David Stevens

  • Mark D. Schwartz

  • Ellen Pearlman

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