Diversity in Medicine

Section 1

Leave Site Quickly

Addressing Disparities in Healthcare           2017 Lecture Schedule

The University of California, Irvine, has developed a unique course regarding the diversity in medicine, with a focus on addressing the disparities in healthcare that many patients and populations face due to cultural misconceptions, miscommunication, and misunderstandings.  This course is supported by the UC Irvine School of Medicine, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and the Program in Public Health and is open to all members of UC Irvine and the extended community (see ENROLLMENT below).

The primary goal of this course is to provide information that will assist health care professionals to maximize the quality of patient care in a diverse society.  Health care professionals provide culturally competent patient care by focusing on the major concepts of awareness, clinical and communication skills, attitudes, and behaviors.  By first understanding the impact of culture on patient care, one will begin to make the connection between cultural competency at the individual practitioner level and how that can be integrated into the health care system.

A second goal is to stimulate and promote interest in cross-cultural medicine among students.  Diversity in Medicine: Addressing Disparities in Healthcare will familiarize students to new ideas emerging in the medical field, as well as expose students to the health needs of underserved communities.  This course will allow students to explore clinical, public service, and research opportunities available in related fields.

Lastly, with the information and materials presented, a goal is to create a culturally friendly and diverse atmosphere at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and UCI Medical Center for students, patients, visitors, and the community.


This course will revolve around the four previously mentioned concepts of awareness, attitudes, behaviors, as well as clinical and communication skills.  Students should keep these concepts in mind as they evaluate information presented in this course.

  • Awareness:  The materials presented should make one more cognizant of the impact of culture on patients' health and illness status as well as the delivery of medical treatment by health care providers.  The course will examine different values, customs, thought and behavior patterns, as well as other factors, which distinguish one culture from another.  The goal is to understand how these cultural factors affect health, illness, and the giving and receiving of health care.  In developing a knowledge base regarding different ethnic groups, it is important not to stereotype, since the information presented may not necessarily pertain to all members of that particular group.
  • Attitudes: The influence of attitudes, biases, and preconceptions regarding different ethnic groups impacts health care effectiveness; the development of awareness and understanding of the role that culture plays in medicine is integral to effective health care management.
  • Behavior: Students in this course are encouraged to make the cognitive connections between their behavior and their awareness, knowledge, and attitudes.
  • Clinical and Communication Skills: The awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that one develops will have little practical value unless one integrates and applies them into his/her clinical practice.  An integral part of providing culturally competent healthcare is the ability to communicate effectively with patients.  Effective communication includes the ability to listen, understand, explain, and discuss treatment options with sensitivity and competence.


This course consists of a series of ten lectures, one each week, conducted by various healthcare professionals during the Winter or Spring quarter.  All lectures will be held on Wednesdays from 5:00 - 6:50 p.m. at the UC Irvine Humanities Gateway (HG) 1800.  Each class meeting is comprised of a formal lecture-style presentation with a possible discussion or question/answer session.  Students are encouraged to participate and interact with the speakers.  Please see the 2017 Lecture Schedule for the dates and topics of all lectures. Go to the DIM Archives page for the schedule from past years.


Medical students may enroll in the course for Transcript Notation.  Undergraduates may enroll for 2 units pass/no pass credit under PubHlth 91 for Winter Quarter.  All community members are welcome to attend the lectures (although non-students will not receive credit).  This course has been structured so that information presented will be beneficial to students and non-students alike.

For more information about this course, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at oeod@uci.edu(949) 824-5594, or 103 MSTB , Irvine, CA 92697-1130

In addition, you may contact the course coordinators at: DiversityinMedicine.lead@gmail.com or visit the course website at www.diversityinmedicine.uci.edu.