Cultural Competence in Healthcare: Two Regulators' Experiences

  • 06 Apr 2100
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Two regulators will discuss their experience with cultural competency, safety and humility in healthcare.

Encouraging Cultural Competence: Oregon’s Approach - The modern physician’s oath includes a promise to not allow “considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor” to interfere with the patient relationship. At the same time, disparities exist among population groups in both health and access to care. The Oregon Medical Board sought to support its licensees in becoming more culturally responsive and providing compassionate care to all patients. The Oregon Medical Board’s proactive and educational approach to this important issue resulted in the award-winning publication, Cultural Competency: A Practical Guide for Medical Professionals.

Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Care: a BC Regulator’s Journey - An extensive residential school system set up in 1870 by the Canadian government and administered by churches had a devastating long-term impact on the lives of Aboriginal people. To this day, Aboriginal people experience worse health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy, higher suicide rates and higher prevalence of chronic disease, than other Canadians as a result of systemic racism in the health system. In 2017, British Columbia’s 21 health regulators made a written pledge to the First Nations Health Authority declaring their commitment to cultural safety and humility in the health system. Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, will share one regulator’s journey towards building awareness about cultural safety in health service delivery and implementing cultural humility in regulatory proceedings and day-to-day operations.


Nicole Krishnaswami, Executive Director, Oregon Medical Board

Heidi M. Oetter, Registrar and CEO, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

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