Introduction to Culturally Competent Group Therapy: A Community Mental Health Curriculum For Medical Students

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Organization Type: 
Educational Institution
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Postgraduate (e.g., residency, fellowship)
Educational Elements: 
Independent Study
Self Reflection Activities
Experiential not including services to patients
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Program Description: 

The Community Mental Health Curriculum is a program designed to train medical students experientially using group therapy based on a culturally competent framework and delivered in a diverse community clinic.  Students gain clinical skills for future interprofessional collaboration in patient-centered care. This program’s curriculum focuses on culturally competent group therapy for use with third year medical students during their psychiatry clerkship elective. Medical students are supervised by a behavioral health professional and are offered multidisciplinary experiential training of group therapy sessions for mentally ill populations. The six-week curriculum also includes a self-assessment as a pre- and post-measure for competencies. Based on these evaluations, supervisors focus on assigned readings for psychological literature, practice scenarios, skill applications, and debriefings that complement the students’ competencies.

Through training experience on group therapy principles in action, future physicians may enhance their skill set for collaborating with other professionals in the provision of culturally responsive interdisciplinary health care.

Targeted Professions
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Social Work: 
Psychiatric social work
Medical social work
Clinical Health
Patient Educators
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Assessment of biopsychosocial needs across the lifespan
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Risk identification
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Team leadership
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Assessment of patient outcomes
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated November 15, 2013

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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