AuthorSedig, Sheila Marie Dolan
AdvisorLee, Jenny J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRacial health disparities and social injustices in health care continue in the United States (US) despite decades of research, policies, and programs dedicated to their elimination (Feagin & Bennefield, 2014). Cultural competency education of health care providers has been one way purported to help sensitize professionals to these inequities, thus seeking to address racial bias, unequal treatment, and misunderstandings of minority populations (Office of Minority Health, 2001). Such education can begin when students enter academia to commence their health care education, and certainly occurs as a student moves on through their academic career, particularly as they enter their post-graduate level studies. Investigating the required cultural competency course of a Master of Public Health (MPH) program through the perspectives of faculty, current students, and alumni for its ability to develop culturally sensitive health care practitioners was the aim of this case study. Document analysis and direct observation of the one cultural competency course required for all concentrations in one MPH program was undertaken. This was a semester-long course and was offered face-to-face and online; both were observed. In-depth interviews of faculty, current students, and alumni of the same program were also conducted. Using the public health critical race (PHCR) praxis theoretical framework (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010b), data was analyzed to determine how, and to what extent, faculty teach cultural competency, students internalize this instruction, and alumni put this education into practice. By using a critical theoretical framework designed for public health program development, this study found that such a framework has effective utility as a curriculum – this framework could be used to increase students understanding of racial issues that impact health and health care. Data also revealed a schematic believed, by faculty, students, and alumni, to be important for the development of cultural competence. The findings also point to the importance of creating space in the classroom for both minority and majority voices to feel free to express difficult issues without repercussions of stereo-typing and name-calling; and for faculty to be able to effectively deal with such discourse. Curriculum that addresses issues of health disparities and social justice, classroom praxis, and faculty role-modeling can be combined to create the institutional environment where culturally sensitive and socially just health care practitioners may emerge.
Degree ProgramGraduate College