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Cultural Humility in Healthcare

Introduction to Cultural Humility in Healthcare

"Cultural competence in clinical practice is best defined not by a discrete endpoint but as a commitment and active engagement in a lifelong process that individuals enter into on an ongoing basis with patients, communities, colleagues, and with themselves. This training outcome, perhaps better described as cultural humility versus cultural competence... is a process that requires humility as individuals continually engage in self-reflection and self-critique as lifelong learners and reflective practitioners. It is a process that requires humility in how physicians bring into check the power imbalances that exist in the dynamics of physician-patient communication by using patient-focused interviewing and care. And it is a process that requires humility to develop and maintain mutually respectful and dynamic partnerships with communities on behalf of individual patients and communities in the context of community-based clinical and advocacy training models."

Tervalon M, Murray-Garcia J. Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 1998;9(2):117-125. Available here:


This guide contains a collection of general resources for cultural humility in healthcare (main page) as well as specific resource pages related to initiatives and programs of the The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at the Geisel School of Medicine (see side navigation for topics).

MEDLINE/PubMed Health Disparities and Minority Health Search Strategy

Web Resources