Cultural Proficiency

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Cultural proficiency is the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs that enable people to work well with, respond effectively to, and be supportive of people in cross-cultural settings. Family physicians care for a wide variety of patients and need these skills to offer better patient care.

Today’s health care environment is increasingly diverse, and physicians interact with patients from an ever-widening range of ethnic and sociocultural backgrounds. As family physicians, we strive to provide the best patient experience possible for everyone we serve in our practice.

Quality Care for Diverse Populations Video Series

In order to help health care workers be more culturally sensitive when caring for patients, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has developed Quality Care for Diverse Populations, a web-based training program comprised of five video vignettes depicting simulated physician-patient visits in an office setting.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to work collaboratively with medical interpreters;
  • Recognize why and when cultural factors related to obesity may be a barrier to doctor-patient communication and patient compliance;
  • Identify specific health-based information concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) populations, including health risks, health disparities and strategies for improvement;
  • Identify major stressors related to the process of immigration and common problems that may be encountered during the medical exam; and
  • Understand the importance of honoring traditional Native American cultural communication patterns

View Quality of Care for Diverse Populations Videos

1. Introduction: Quality Care for Diverse Populations

(2:45 minutes)


2. Limited English Proficiency

(8:11 minutes)


3. Obesity and Adolescence

(9:00 minutes)


4. Women's Health and Sexual Orientation

(8:04 minutes)


5. Immigrant Health Care

(5:23 minutes)


6. Cross-Cultural End-of-Life Care

(8:02 minutes)


7. Conclusion: Quality of Care for Diverse Populations

(2:29 minutes)

See Also