Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Eckman, Ellen

Second Advisor

Leslie, Lauren

Third Advisor

Halula, Kim


This quantitative study investigated the multicultural competency outcomes of graduate physician assistant students at Marquette University. Two experimental cohorts of participants completed the Diversity in Healthcare curriculum followed by a brief immersion experience. The groups completed four self-assessment surveys given in a pre test, post test, delayed post test sequence. In addition, each participant completed a OSCE examination of a minority patient that was videotaped for later analysis. The assessment instruments were all tools previously shown to be sensitive to multicultural interventions in other healthcare career students. The four self reported instruments demonstrated mixed results regarding the effectiveness of the educational intervention in fostering multicultural sensitivity. The fifth tool used to analyze the mock patient encounters proved to provide the most significant results about student performance. Both experimental cohorts demonstrated significantly better culturally appropriate interviewing skills and communication strategies than the control group. Instilling and teaching multi-cultural competencies is difficult to accomplish and even more difficult to evaluate. Preparing future healthcare providers to meet the health needs of an ever more diverse patient population is challenging. Attempting to stem the tide of disparities in the delivery of healthcare services can only be accomplished by developing new and expanded skill sets in the healthcare providers of tomorrow.



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