Poster Presentations

P-24: Enhancing diversity exposure at McMaster University Implementation of minority-group standardized patients in clinical skills education

David Nguyen*, Mark Xue*, Rasika Singh*, Kaitlyn Howden*

McMaster University

Background: The population of visible minority groups in Canada will approximate 29% to 32% by 2031. However, when matched for confounders, minority-group patients received fewer recommendations for management of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and heart disease. Cultural diversity in patients poses specific health challenges and it has been shown that cultural competency training in medical education improves patient care, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes.

Purpose: To increase exposure levels to visible minority groups in the McMaster core curriculum by 25% by the end of pre-clerkship.

Methods: A needs assessment survey was administered to McMaster MD students regarding current levels of diversity in the core curriculum, and self-reported exposure to diverse groups during pre-clerkship. Additionally, a process map of the standardized patient (SP) hiring process was developed. 

Results: Students' self-reported exposure indicated high exposure to White, South Asian, and East Asian populations, and low exposure to Black, Aboriginal, Hispanic, Southeast Asian, and West Asian populations. Students felt that diversity could be better integrated in tutorial (mean = 3.79, SD = 1.19), professional competencies (4.00, 1.07), and clinical skills (4.14, 1.04). As well, students felt their learning would benefit from the use of ethnically diverse SPs in clinical skills (4.14, 1.04) and SP cases that reflect diversity (4.42, 0.88). 

Conclusion: Preliminary findings indicate the need for increased exposure to SPs from minority groups in the clinical skills curriculum. Future work hopes to pilot SPs from visible minority groups to a clinical skills group over the course of one medical foundation.