Carrillo defines cultural competence as the abilities possessed by medical practitioners in adapting to different cultures (23). These medical practitioners have the knowledge and skills, which help them, understand how different cultures work, and are able to balance the diverse cultural orientation. In medicine, like any other profession, cultural competence is important due to the cultural exposure doctors are subjected to; for instance from one country to another. Cultural competence course has imparted three lessons that are practical to my doctorate profession.
Firstly, the course enhanced understanding of the challenges doctors undergo in adopting cultural competence. Doctors need to understand the cultural practices of different communities. Examples of challenges that doctors experience includes stereotyping, mistrust, and beliefs by different communities. Similarly, the perception of the causes of illness by different cultures in the globe attracted attention in my carrier development. For instance, there are communities that belief illness is caused by curse, improper dieting, among others. Consequently, being aware of the perception by a community helps doctors avoid misconceptions. In the same light, the course has taught me about the different facilitators of cultural competence. For instance, legislation ensures equality in provision of medical services such that it prohibits racial and financial-based profiling in the provision of medical services (Marshal 41).
Secondly, the challenges doctors experience while seeking to understand cultural practices are of significant magnitude. It is essentially difficult to understand the beliefs, attitudes, and norms of a community with ease especially when one does not subscribe to them. For example there are several challenges for a doctor to understand how community thinks about the cancer disease. This is due to the fact that the doctor does not belong to that culture. Therefore, to understand the cultural competence, commitment is important by the doctor. In brief, in relation to the challenges doctors undergo in adopting cultural competence, adapting to the challenges in the future profession such that it will not come as a surprise. Equally important, the cultures held by communities tend to be different. How one community attributes the cause of illness differs from another community. For instance, one community may attribute cause of cancer as a curse by another person, whereas the other may take it as a mere disease like any other. The cultural competence has opened an eye on the importance of understanding how a community attributes different illness. Therefore, in future, learning how to differentiate the beliefs attributed to each disease is paramount.
Thirdly, understanding the facilitators of cultural competence has helped shape the future aspirations of being a doctor. The supportive facilitators include legislations which advocate for equal rights in accessing health services. Basically, everybody should be treated fairy regardless of their race, religion or community. Motivations for cultural competence have impacted on my carrier of a doctor through prohibition of discrimination during treatment. However, doctors should avoid imposing on people that which they don’t practice. Hence, legislation as a subset of motivation for cultural competence is a key driver that I found important in my future carrier of doctor.
In conclusion, cultural competence enhances doctor’s skills in understanding how to maneuver in the event of exposure to different cultures. As noted, the three ideas developed in the course have illustrated the merits of cultural competence in the profession of a doctor. For instance, to a new devoted doctor, it may become a challenge to understand fully what exactly the culture demands in his or profession. Again, being aware of the perception by a community helps doctors avoid conflict of beliefs. In brief, incorporation of cultural competence through learning and practice would help in future carrier choice and development.
Importantly, therefore, I will use the insight gained in the course to develop and lead a sustainable career in the healthcare/medical industry. In this case, I will be very keen when it comes to taking a background check of the patients in order to orientate myself with the cultural background of the patient. This will ensure that I provide treatment and advice in the context of their cultural orientation. In addition, I will also develop a well-structured program to sensitize my colleague professionals in regard to cultural diversity and how to embrace it. Lastly, I will work towards exposing myself to different cultural orientations across the country in order to be acquainted with their practices.
Carrillo, Emilio. Cultural COmpetence in Health Care: Documenet. New York: Weill Medical College, 2012.
Marshal, Stephanie. "A Cultural Competence Guide for primary health care professionals." Journal of Medical Sciences (2005): 50.