Academic and Medical Excellence in the Hispanic Community
in 1991, the Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE) has a primary goal of improving
the health status of the Latino and other underserved populations by increasing
the number of Latinos in the health professions and in particular medicine.
As we enter our 20th year, the HCOE has focused its initiatives at enhancing
academic performance of Latinos and other individuals from other underserved
backgrounds; increasing the recruitment and retention of faculty; increasing
the school's diversity through the recruitment and retention of Latino faculty;
and developing the capacity of all graduates to provide culturally competent
healthcare services. The HCOE seeks to reduce disparities in healthcare by supporting
individuals committed to advance the goals of diversity in the medical profession
and improve healthcare to underserved populations.
programs of the Hispanic Center of Excellence are sponsored through a grant
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and
Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Health Careers
Diversity and Development. For more information, visit http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/diversity.
diversity of our nation, combined with a shortage of individuals from disadvantaged
backgrounds in the health professions, presents a significant challenge for
medical education and academic medicine. Since 1972, NJMS has implemented programs
in an effort to meet these challenges. With the support of the Hispanic Center
of Excellence, NJMS continues to make significant strides in paving the way
for student curriculum and faculty development in response to the Liaison Committee
on Medical Education Standard on Cultural Competency. These standards maintain
that medical school "faculty and students must demonstrate an understanding
of the manner in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems perceive
health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments.
Medical students should learn to recognize and appropriately address gender
and cultural biases in health care delivery, while considering first the health
of the patient."
ensure that all graduates master the core competencies requisite for a culturally
competent provider, a comprehensive plan that involves all four years of medical
education was developed. In November 2003, school-wide education goals and objectives
has been approved. Specifically, Goal 4 is "Commitment to the Health of
the Community and Appreciation of Social and Cultural Diversity." Students
are expected to:
- Demonstrate the ability to obtain
a history and physical that accommodates a patient's belief systems
- Demonstrate cultural and linguistic
- Demonstrate the ability to develop
a treatment plan that accommodates the cultural, social and economic context
of the patient
These education goals and objectives
are of paramount significance, embracing the implementation of cultural competency
as one of the courses without walls. The Hispanic Center of Excellence plays
a critical role in developing and implementing an integrated, vertical and longitudinal
curriculum conceptualizing cultural competency and its impact in reducing health
disparities in the United States.