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Assimilating Traditional Healing Into Preventive Medicine Residency Curriculum

Assimilating Traditional Healing Into Preventive Medicine Residency Curriculum

American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5 Suppl 3): S263

Comprehensive cultural competency includes knowledge and awareness of culturally based healing and wellness practices. Healthcare providers should be aware of the individual patient's beliefs, culture, and use of culturally based health practices because patients may adopt such practices for general wellness or as adjunct therapies without the benefit of discussion with their healthcare provider. This article describes the culturally based traditional healing curriculum that has been implemented in the University of New Mexico Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Residency Program in order to fulfill this knowledge necessity. Curricular elements were added in a stepwise manner starting in 2011, with the full content as described implemented starting in 2013. Data were collected annually with evaluation of the full curriculum occurring in 2015. New Mexico has a diverse population base that includes predominantly Hispanic and Native American cultures, making the inclusion of curriculum regarding traditional healing practices very pertinent. Residents at the University of New Mexico were educated through several curricular components about topics such as Curanderismo, the art of Mexican Folk Healing. An innovative approach was used, with a compendium of training methods that included learning directly from traditional healers and participation in healing practices. The incorporation of this residency curriculum resulted in a means to produce physicians well trained in approaching patient care and population health with knowledge of culturally based health practices in order to facilitate healthy patients and communities.

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Accession: 057246350

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PMID: 26477902

DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.007

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