Cultural Competence in the Bachelors in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) Curriculum

Cultural competence is the ability to interact respectfully and effectively with persons from a background different from one’s own. Cultural competence goes beyond an awareness of or sensitivity to another culture, to include the ability to use the necessary knowledge and skills to perform optimally as a global citizen in a pharmaceutical sciences career.  

Statement of Need

Cultural diversity influences a person’s interactions with others. Individuals must understand their own cultural values and beliefs, and those of others, in order to work effectively and successfully with individuals from different cultural backgrounds at home and abroad. Cultural competence facilitates professional interactions in the global pharmaceutical industry, ultimately improving health outcomes of patients and decreasing health care costs. Cultural competence is a lifelong learning process. 

Instructional Goals

Cultural competence goes beyond awareness about various cultures. It is important to develop cultural self-awareness, knowledge, and skills across the curriculum that fosters continuous cultural competence development. The following instructional goals are developed based on the literature and are intended to serve as guidelines to help faculty develop specific learning objectives to fit individual courses and include, but are not limited to:  

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity and the importance of cultural competence.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of pharmaceutical scientists and interdisciplinary teams.    
  3. Be able to assess one’s own biases, stereotypes, and level of cultural competence.*
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of how global differences influence the expanding market for pharmaceuticals.
  5. Discuss how cultural beliefs shape patients’ interpretation and experience of disease(s) and treatment(s).
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of health care needs and health disparities of diverse populations and seek to develop pharmaceuticals that take cultural diversity into account.
  7. Use effective cultural communication strategies when interacting with others.   
  8. Understand and utilize strategies and resources to instill cultural competence as a life-long learning process.*

* Consider meeting with co-curricular activities.  Co-curricular is viewed as activities unassociated with a course, but occur during the time a student is working through the curriculum.