A Small-Group Reflection Exercise for Increasing the Awareness of Cultural Stereotypes: A Facilitator's Guide

Publication ID Published Volume
668 February 25, 2009 5

Abstract

The following Small Group Reflection Exercise is designed to increase a participant's awareness of unconscious stereotypes he/she might have about different cultural groups. Through self and group reflection, participants additionally become aware of the potential influence of unconscious stereotypes on healthcare delivery. The purpose of the Small Group Reflection Exercise is to increase the awareness of unconscious stereotypes, and the negative impact of such stereotypes on the quality of healthcare provided. This exercise was used with 114 second year medical students in groups of 10-15 participants with one facilitator. After completing the exercise, 49% of students agreed and 44.7% strongly agreed (93.7% combined) that they were more aware of the influence of unconscious stereotypes and assumptions on providing effective patient care. Additionally, after completing this exercise 41.7% agreed and 49% strongly agreed (90.7% combined) that they were more aware of their own personal stereotypes and assumptions regarding groups different from themselves. This exercise is an effective first step in any cultural competence curriculum to improve participants' awareness of unconscious stereotypes they might have about different cultural groups.

Citation

DeGannes C, Woodson Coke K, Bender Henderson T, Sanders-Phillips K. A small-group reflection exercise for increasing the awareness of cultural stereotypes: a facilitator's guide. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2009;5:668. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.668

Educational Objectives

  1. By the end of the reflection exercise, each participant will agree that he/she is more aware of unconscious cultural stereotypes.
  2. By the end of the reflection exercise, each participant will agree that he/she is more aware of the potential impact of unconscious stereotypes on patient care.
  3. By the end of the reflection exercise, each participant will agree that he/she is more aware of the influence of unconscious stereotypes on medical decision-making.

Keywords

  • Stereotypes, Cultural Groups, Self-Reflection, Stereotyped Behavior, Racism, Health Equity Research, Humanistic Environment

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

References

DeGannes CN, Woodson-Coke K, Henderson TB, Sanders-Phillips K. Development of a Cultural Competence Small Group Reflection Exercise to Increase the Awareness of Unconscious Assumptions and Stereotypes Amongst Healthcare Providers. 30th Annual Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Meeting, Innovations in Medical Education. Toronto, ON, Canada, 2007. Accepted for poster presentation.

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