70736 - Understanding the Influence of Social Stigma and Individuals Stereotype in the Decision Making Process in Medicine

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Paolo Scudellari

  • 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.

Good health and well-being Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

In line with the general educational objectives of the course of medicine and surgery, starting from the definition adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to which the state of health corresponds to a situation of complete physical, mental and social well-being, the course is aimed at offering theoretical-practical tools for understanding the psycho-physical suffering of the different ages and stages of life and in the complexity of contemporary society. In particular, the course provides theoretical and specific elements to enhance the Cultural Competence in the patient medical relationship. We summarize below the training objectives according to in line with the Dublin descriptors and according to the indications of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

Obiettivi secondo i “descrittori di Dublino” (dicembre 2004)

•  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

1.  Bias, stereotyping, discrimination, and racism: history of stereotyping, including limited access to health care and education;

2. Clinicians' self-assessment, reflection, and self-awareness of own culture, assumptions, stereotypes, biases;

3. Effects of stereotyping on medical decision-making;

4. Patient/family-centered vs. physician-centered care: emphasis on patients'/families' healing traditions and beliefs [for example, ethno-medical healers.

6. Self-help culture and methodology: presentation 

7. Tales from the experiences of people belonging to groups of Self Help, AUSL Bologna


Teaching methods

- Lectures

- Role-playng and group- exercise

- Discussion of clinical case

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 Ovest Community Mental Health Centre and Self Help Groups of the Bologna AUSL

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Scudellari