70733 - Cultural Competence: Rationale, Context and Definition

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Ilaria Tarricone

  • Credits 1

  • SSD MED/25

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Medicine and Surgery (cod. 8415)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Good health and well-being Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Following the general educational objectives of the medical and surgical course and the WHO (World Health Organization) definition of health (a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing), the course is designed to provide theoretical and practical tools of understanding of the psychological and physical suffering at the different ages and stages of life within the complexity of contemporary society. In particular, the course will provide theoretical knowledge and practical skilss to enhance the Cultural Competence in the doctor-patient relationship.

We summarize below the educational objectives in line with the Dublin descriptors and the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

•   knowledge and understanding:

The 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.

•      applying knowledge and understanding:

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.

•    Making judgements

Medical student should be able to value the importance of the link between effective communication and quality care. Particularly, they should be able to Value the importance of diversity in health care and address the challenges and opportunities it poses.

•     Communication skills

Medical students must demonstrate ability in asking questions to elicit patient preferences and respond appropriately to patient feedback about key cross-cultural issues.

•     Learning skills.

Medical students must describe social cognitive factors and impact of race/ethnicity, culture, and class on clinical decision-making.

Course contents

6 GIUGNO 2022 (ore 14-18), AULA MAGNA GINECOLOGIA PAD 4 Policlinico S Orsola Malpighi 

27 GIUGNO 2022 (ore 14-18), Aula Gentili , viale Pepoli 5, Bologna

1 . Definitions of race, ethnicity, and culture, including the culture of medicine

2 . Epidemiology of population health;  Epidemiology of specific health and health-care disparities; Collaborating with communities to eliminate disparities—through community experiences

3. Definition and understanding of the importance of cultural competence; how cultural issues affect health and health-care quality and cost; institutional cultural issues;

4. . Information on the history of the patient and his/her community of people: The Bologna Migration History and social integration Interview;

Speakers include Italian and foreign experts illustrating local and international experiences


Karl Jaspers. Il medico nell'età della tecnica, Cortina editore, 1991

Marco Mazzetti. Il dialogo transculturale. Carocci Faber, 2003

D. Berardi, F. Asioli. I pazienti con disturbi psichiatrici nell'ambulatorio del medico di medicina generale. Il pensiero scientifico editore, 2007

Cultural Competence Education, Association of American Medical Colleges,https://www.aamc.org/download/54338/data/culturalcomped.pdf

Tarricone I. & Berardi D. La competenza culturale nella relazione medico paziente. In Trattato Italiano di Psichiatria Culturale e delle Migrazioni. A cura di Bria P, Caroppo E, Brogna P, Colimberti M. Seu Editrice, Roma 2010

Ryszard Kapucinski. L'altro. Feltrinelli, 2007

Ryszard Kapuscinski. In viaggio con Erodoto. Feltrinelli, 2009

Nale Losi, Vite altrove. Migrazione e disagio psichico. Edizione Feltrinelli, 2000

Piero Coppo, le ragioni del dolore. Etnopsichiatria della depressione. Bollati Boringhieri

Giuseppe De Mola. Distanze. Storie di separazione e di esilio nel Sudafrica di ieri e di oggi. Besa Editrice

Teaching methods

Role-playng and group- exercise  
Discussion of clinical cases

Assessment methods

Multiple choice questionnaire. Report on clinical case focused on observation / assessment of cultural competence elements in patient-doctor relationship

Teaching tools

Slide show and short video-tape  Remarks at the Sokos clinics, general practice setting, the Bologna Mental Health Deaprtment Ausl Bo  and Self Help Groups of the AUSL Bo

Office hours

See the website of Ilaria Tarricone