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Assessment of a Cultural Competency Program in Podiatric Medical Education

Kevin M Smith DPM, PhD1, Simon Geletta PhD2, and Travis Langan BS1
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  • 1 College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.
  • | 2 College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.
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Background: Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS) is implementing a cultural competency program for third-year podiatric medical students. This study assessed the effectiveness of the new educational program on cultural competency at CPMS by comparing pretest and posttest scores of students from the CPMS graduating classes of 2013 and 2014.

Methods: Students from the class of 2013 completed a 10-week online course on cultural competency, and the class of 2014 students did not. A pretest and posttest survey was used to assess cultural competency. The questions were categorized to assess either knowledge acquisition or attitudinal change. The 2013 students completed the pretest before the course and a posttest after completing the course. Without taking the course, 2014 students completed the same pretest and posttest separated by 10 weeks. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare the knowledge acquisition scores and attitudinal change scores.

Results: The repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction effect of taking the attitudinal change course (F(1,77) = 15.2; P < .001). The course did not show a significant interaction on knowledge acquisition (F(1,77) = 0.72; P > .05).

Conclusions: The analysis showed a statistically significant improvement in attitudinal change scores. The study suggests that there needs to be a greater knowledge acquisition component to the cultural competency course at CPMS.

Corresponding author: Kevin M. Smith, DPM, MS, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, 3200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. (E-mail: kevin.smith@dmu.edu)